by Tatevik Shahunyan
The Russian court has chosen a 2-month arrest as a measure of restraint for Artsakh businessman Levon Hayrapetyan, Ara Abrahamyan, Head of the Union of Armenians of Russia, has told ArmInfo.
The court has also attached Hayrapetyan's stake in Bashneft (about 300 million rubles). Hayrapetyan is charged under Articles 160 (misappropriation) and 174 (legalization of criminal means) of the Russian Criminal Code.
Abrahamyan stresses the need to wait till the end of the proceedings to make the final assessments. He thinks that Hayrapetyan is not guilty. As regards the media reports that Hayrapetyan has been arrested due to the Azeri lobbyists' efforts, Abrahamyan stresses that the businessman is charged with economic crimes, so Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia have nothing to do with this. "In 99.9% of cases the court satisfies the investigators' petition to use arrest as a measure of restraint. Unfortunately, the Hayrapetyan case was not an exception. But we believe that all the problems will be settled soon. Hayrapetyan is a strong man and will cope with the problems", says Abrahamyan. He adds that Hayrapetyan is respected in Armenia, Artsakh and Russia.
To note, Levon Hayrapetyan's lawyer Igor Komarov said that the definition of the criminal case is not final.
To remind, the Russian special services have detained one of the richest Armenian businessmen in the world Levon Hayrapetyan on suspicion of being privy to the notorious "Kingisep" criminal group. According to Rosbalt, Hayrapetyan was detained on Tuesday upon arriving in Moscow from his home in Monaco. Shortly the investigators are planning to petition the Basmanny Court to arrest the businessman. They are currently investigating the case of Sergey-Finagin's "Kingisepp" group, which together with Alexander Matusov's "Schelkovo" gang, is believed to have done a number of contract killings first for businessman Georgy Safiyev (killed in the United States) and then for former Senator Igor Izmestyev (who is now in jail for life). And it was Izmestyev who said that Levon Hayrapetyan was privy to some of the killings, particularly, those related to the Bashneft oil company.