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Armenian Entrepreneur Appeals To Top Leaders For Justice

Saribek Sukiasian

Saribek Sukiasian

YEREVAN -- A leading Armenian businessman who says he is a victim of political persecution has appealed to the country's top leadership for justice, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Saribek Sukiasian was detained along with a business partner last week and held for three days for gun possession and making death threats.

Sukiasian denies the charges against him and said they are part of a plot against businesses belonging to his extended family. He said the senior political leadership of Armenia is either "uninformed or misled" regarding his case.

He warned Armenia's leaders that failing to properly investigate his case will have far-reaching repercussions on the country's business environment.

"I'd like to address my words to the top leaders of the country," he said. "If you want people to continue to live, do business, and pay taxes in this country, you should remove this gang." He did not clarify what gang he meant.

Sukiasian further insisted that the person who filed the claim against him, identified as Audit Ltd Director Gor Davtian, is "also a victim of this gang."

Sukiasian is the younger brother of prominent businessman and former parliament deputy Khachatur Sukiasian, who is facing criminal charges for his alleged role in the deadly March 2008 clashes after the disputed presidential election.

In the fall of 2007, Khachatur Sukiasian announced his support for former President Levon Ter-Petrossian's candidacy in the February 2008 presidential election. Armenian authorities responded by accusing him of tax evasion and confiscating several companies he owned.