September 21
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YEREVAN. – Hraparak daily of the Republic of Armenia (RA) writes: The passions in the criminal case of RA former ambassador to the Vatican Mikayel Minasyan [who is the son-in-law of third President Serzh Sargsyan] are not calming down. The SRC [State Revenue Committee] Investigation Department has already submitted the 4th petition to arrest him, the consideration of which is scheduled for this week.

According to our information, back on August 21, the prosecutor's office had withdrawn the petition to arrest Minasyan, as it was not sure that the judge examining the case, Marine Melkonyan, would not deny it on the grounds that it was unfounded. Back then, law enforcement agencies, led by NSS [National Security Service] deputy director Mikayel Hambardzumyan, has decided to assign the petition to arrest Minasyan to [Judge] Manvel Shahverdyan, who is known in the system for having worked for 11 years as the assistant of Artush Gabrielyan, a favorite judge of the velvet [revolution’s] authorities.

However, on the day of processing the arrest petition, on September 3, Yerevan Court President Artur Mkrtchyan forgot that the petition was to be assigned by Manvel Shahverdyan, and he assigned it to newly appointed judge Armine Meliksetyan. Immediately after that, Mkrtchyan called Meliksetyan and asked to return the case, which was followed by Meliksetyan's written petition to Mkrtchyan with a request to reassign the petition to arrest Minasyan.

According to our information, the agreement to arrest Minasyan was obtained with Judge Manvel Shahverdyan personally by Mikayel Hambardzumyan, deputy director of the NSS, who was the head of the NSS Investigation Department during the previous authorities, had close relations with NSS former director of the Georgi Kutoyan, and was one of [then President] Serzh Sargsyan's most loyal people in the NSS.

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