Prosecutors to Seek Ex Minister’s Continued Stay in Jail

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–State prosecutors said on Thursday they will ask a court in Yerevan to prolong former interior minister Ashot Bleyan’s two-month arrest pending an investigation into criminal charges leveled against him earlier this year. Bleyan was arrested on May 14 immediately after Yerevan’s central district court found that he is obstructing the investigation. The injunction is in effect until July 15 but the court can extend it.

The prosecutors have accused Bleyan of embezzling public funds while in power in the mid-1990s–a charge he and his supporters say was fabricated for political purposes.

The prosecutor in charge of the inquiry–Hovannes Petrosian–told RFE/RL that there still exist sufficient grounds for keeping Bleyan in custody. He declined to state when the case will be submitted to the court.

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