Mellat Bank Defendants Begin Testimony

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Defendant in the bribery case at the Yerevan branch office of the Iranian Mellat Bank Alexander Matevossian testified Monday before the Supreme Court Board.

Matevossian admitted that Grigor Tonoyan–a witness in the case–gave $10,000 to the deputy manager of the bank Rouben Hakhnazarian. However–he said he had no valid grounds to allege that the money was given to Akhnazarian as a bribe for a loan. He also testified that he had prepared documen’s on loan to be given to Melmo joint stock company and submitted those documen’s to the bank’s council for consideration.

As to the decision to give a loan–it can be taken only by the bank’s council–consisting of the bank’s manager Mostashar Nizami and his two deputies–nationals of Iran–Akhnazarian and Varouzhan Zatikian (Mostashar Nizami is not involved in the criminal proceedings–while two of his deputies are currently being wanted by law enforcement agencies).

Matevossian said he did not attend deliberations regarding the loan–as it was in Persian language.

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