SDU Leader’s Criminal Case Assigned to Prosecutor’s Office

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Armenia’started probe into criminal proceedings instituted against former deputy chairman of the Self-Determination Union Aramazd Zakarian.

SDU Spokesman Aram Haroutiunian reported that a couple of days before investigation group agents came to SDU Head Office and requested documen’s related to the collection of donations.

Haroutiunian said that SDU leadership provided those people with all requested papers. SDU requested Prosecutor’s Office to institute criminal proceedings against Zakarian–charging him with slander (count 131 of the Criminal Law).

The charges were based on a statement made by Zakarian in an interview with Aravot daily–wherein he said that money extorted by SDU from the population are used by transient leadership of SDU.

Zakarian accused the leadership of SDU of collaborating with secret agents of Israeli and other foreign clandestine organizations (similar statemen’s Zakarian made in an interview with Golos Armenii newspaper). "As a matter of fact–Zakarian accused SDU of committing two heavy felonies–extortion of money and high treason," a statement issued by SDU emphasized.

Haroutiunian told that filing a lawsuit against Zakarian–SDU aims at giving the latter an opportunity to prove his innocence or–if not proven–holding him responsible for the slander.

Haroutiunian stressed that a couple of years ago Zakarian accused the present authorities of being foreign spies. In the article entitled "The Leaders of Armenia: Who are they and whom do they serve?" Zakarian wrote: "Armenia is being ruled by agents of foreign secret services and KGB–who–using their position–are becoming rich at the expense of the population and committing myriad crimes. If there is a danger–they will flee from Armenia–taking with them enormous wealth–belonging to the people of Armenia. These are leaders of Armenia led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan."

SDU Spokesman described such a swift shift in Zakarian’s position–saying: "Zakarian created his image with the help of the SDU and quitting the Union he would represent nothing valuable–if did not attempt to discredit SDU. Zakarian is an unnecessary man for the authorities. He got a promotion as a payment for his services. Aramazd Zakarian should not be taken seriously–it is simply an unpleasant thing that he is hatching a tree by which he used to climb to the top," Haroutiunian opined.

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