YEREVAN (Nyut.am)—Hundreds of people in Yerevan marched to the Presidential Palace on Thursday waving Armenian and Artsakh flags and holding protest signs demanding the release of Armenian businessman and philanthropist Levon Hayrapetian.
The protesters demanded that Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian help secure Hayrapetian’s release in any capacity he can.
Nyut.am reported that political figures, including Arthur Alexanian, Vahagn Hovnanian, and the ARF’s Aghvan Vardanian, also joined the protest.
Hayrapetian, 65, was arrested by Russian Federal Security Service officials on July 15. A Moscow court allowed the businessman’s two-month imprisonment while investigators conduct a probe into his alleged criminal connections and involvement in some illegal financial dealings. He was officially charged on July 24 with money laundering and embezzlement and his shares in the Russian oil company Bashneft, said to be worth $8.5 million were frozen.
Hayrapetian is considered to be one of the wealthiest Armenians in the world. He is known to have invested millions of dollars into developing Nagorno-Karabakh’s infrastructure and renovating the area’s historical-cultural monuments. His charity included a mass wedding for hundreds of Karabakh couples in 2008 and sponsorship of the construction of a military college in Martakert.