YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Affluent businessman and head of Armenia’s Football Federation Ruben Hayrapetian has been interrogated as part of a criminal investigation in connection with last month’s assault on a member of an Armenian group at odds with the government.
Armenian law-enforcement authorities in September reported the arrest of three men suspected of involvement in the brutal attack against Smbat Hakobian, a veteran of the 1992-1994 Karabakh war who is currently a member of the Alliance of Freedom Fighters, an opposition group.
The beating of Hakobian that took place in central Yerevan in broad daylight was condemned by local and international rights groups, with Armenian authorities urged to identify and punish those responsible for the violence.
Immediately after the assault Hakobian claimed that one of his attackers was a bodyguard of Ruben Hayrapetian, a notoriously violent tycoon close to the government. He said Hayrapetian threatened to have him beaten up in June because of his political activities. The tycoon strongly denied any involvement in the beating.
The Investigative Committee of Armenia released no details of Hayrapetian’s interrogation. It said that charges have been brought against all of the three persons arrested in connection with the assault. Two of them were taken into custody, while the third was released on bail.