STEPANAKERT—More than a thousand residents of Vank village in Nagorno-Karabakh have signed an open letter to Armenian businessman and philanthropist Levon Hayrapetyan, who is currently in custody in Russia, and to Armenians worldwide, Artsakh Today reports.
The residents of Nagorno-Karabakh do not doubt that the allegations against Hayrapetyan are false and that his arrest is politically charged. “Your arrest is a gauntlet thrown against Armenians worldwide. We apply to Armenians worldwide, particularly to the Armenians of Russia, to urge the Russian authorities to immediately release Hayrapetyan. Influential Armenians of Russia … can play an important role in this matter,” the address says.
On Tuesday, Hayrapetian was detained at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport upon arriving from what Russian media and Russian Security Service (FSB) sources claim was Monaco.
According to the Russian Rosbalt news agency, Hayrapetyan is suspected of “illegal financial dealings” in connection with alleged business dealings with a Russian oil company. The FSB has released no other information and the Armenian Embassy in Moscow is looking into the details of the detention and charges.
The FSB told Rosbalt that Hayrapetian was fingered by former Russian senator Igor Izmestiev, who is serving a life sentence since 2010 after being convicted of violent crimes, including murders related to a gang.
Levon Hayrapetyan’s lawyer Igor Komarov said that the definition of the criminal case is not final and that he will try to change the measure of restraint.