MOSCOW—The Moscow Municipal Court on Friday brought new charges against Russian-Armenian businessman and philanthropist Levon Hayrapetian, who has been in custody in the Russian capital city since July.
Armenian News (News.am) reports that the prosecution has brought additional charges of fraud against Hayrapetian, categorically refuted by Hayrapetian’s defense.
“This is a trumped-up case and the investigator is a liar,” Hayrapetian reportedly stated.
The court is examining the matter of whether or not to extend Hayrapetian’s detention.
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.