YEREVAN. – Armenia’s third President Serzh Sargsyan arrived in court. But before entering the court, he thanked his supporters.
"I am grateful that you came to support me and, to a large extent, you came to defend justice," he said, in particular. “There is hope that there are still judges in Armenia for whom justice is above everything; just as for me, for you, for the majority of the Armenian people."
Sargsyan also noted that the independence of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) is above everything, and he asked his supporters to return home, to engage in their daily work, but not forgetting about Armenia's security.
"I have repeatedly stated, from the highest tribunes of the world, and now I repeat that Nagorno-Karabakh will never be part of Azerbaijan; this has been the overriding goal of my life, and it will accompany me to the end and everywhere."
As reported earlier, the first court hearing on the criminal case against Serzh Sargsyan, former Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan, owner of Flash company Barsegh Beglaryan, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture Samvel Galstyan, and former head of the Ministry's Department of Crop Production Gevorg Harutyunyan has kicked off today.
They are charged under the Criminal Code article on organizing, inciting and assisting large-scale appropriation or squander, whereas former Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan—under the article on large-scale appropriation or squander.
During the investigation of the criminal case being investigated at the Special Investigation Service of Armenia, it was found out that with the organization of third president Serzh Sargsyan, the impelling of the owner of Flesh company Barsegh Beglaryan, with the assistance of former deputy minister of agriculture Samvel Galstyan and head of the Agriculture Ministry’s Department of Crop Production Gevorg Harutyunyan, former Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan misused—from January 25 to February 7, 2013—the government reserve fund for state support the subsidy of 489,160,310 drams allocated for the 15,391,765 liters of diesel fuel that was sold during the implementation of assistance programs.
Serzh Sargsyan does not accept the charge against him. His lawyer Amram Makinyan argues that the charge is concocted. According to press reports, Sergo Karapetyan's testimony is on the bases of this accusation. He and Serzh Sargsyan have been confronted.