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Armenian Opposition Deputy's Brother Released From Jail

Tigran Postanjian

Tigran Postanjian

YEREVAN -- The brother of a prominent Armenian opposition parliament deputy has been set free after spending more than three months in detention on corruption charges an opposition party says are politically motivated, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Tigran Postanjian, the brother of deputy Zaruhi Postanjian, walked free on June 3 after his trial at a district court in Yerevan. Presiding judge Artur Mkrtchian said Postanjian qualifies for a general amnesty declared by the authorities late last month.

Postanjian, who worked for the administration of Yerevan's Arabkir district, was arrested in late February and charged with receiving 100,000 drams ($275) to ignore illegal construction by a local resident.

He has denied the accusation and links it with the political activities of his outspoken sister, Zaruhi Postanjian, who is affiliated with the opposition party Zharangutyun (Heritage).

Both Zaruhi Postanjian and her party have likewise accused the authorities of fabricating the case to intimidate and silence her. Law-enforcement authorities dismiss these claims.

Tigran Postanjian went on a hunger strike shortly after the start of his trial about one month ago.

"I miss my parents, wife, and children and can't wait to get home," he told RFE/RL after his release.