YEREVAN -- A former Armenian lawmaker and influential member of former President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Mher Sedrakian, has been charged with corruption.
The Investigative Committee said on September 8 that Sedrakian is suspected of abusing his powers to secure the purchase of a large part of a public park by his son and brother when he ran Yerevan’s southern Erebuni district in 1999-2008.
According to the committee, Sedrakian allegedly assisted his relatives in privatizing the 12,000-square-meter plot of land in 2004 after they illegally built properties there.
It was not immediately clear how Sedrakian will plead to the accusations. The 69-year-old was not arrested, but he was ordered not to leave the country while the investigation continues.
Sedrakian has long been considered a power broker in Erebuni. Local media have repeatedly implicated his clan in violent attacks on opposition activists and journalists as well as vote rigging, though he has never been charged.
Sedrakian was also dogged by scandals when he represented the former ruling HHK in the Armenian parliament from 2012-2017. He reportedly insulted and threatened journalists on at least two occasions, drawing strong condemnations from the country’s leading media associations.
Also facing criminal charges are several other controversial HHK figures and former officials. Some of them have reportedly fled to Russia to avoid imprisonment. Only one of them, former parliament deputy Levon Sarkisian, has been extradited to Armenia so far.