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Mihran Poghosyan Requests Political Asylum in Russia; Armenia Files Extradition Papers

On April 24, the Russian internet new site RUNA reported that according to Mikhail Yamchitsky (a lawyer defending former Armenian Chief Compulsory Enforcement Officer Mihran Poghosyan), his client satisfies all the prerequisites for requesting political asylum in Russia since he’s being political persecuted in Armenia.

Poghosyan was arrested in the Russian city of Petrozavodsk on April 19, four days after Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) charged him with embezzlement and abuse of official authority.

Armenia’s SIS then placed Poghosyan on an international and national wanted list. After Poghosyan’s arrest, Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s Office then filed extradition papers with the Russian government to have him returned to Armenia.

On April 23, a Russian court approved a request filed by Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s Office to detain Poghosyan for forty days pending the outcome of the extradition process.

In an interview with RUNA, Yamchitsky (who serves as President of the Karelia Bar Association) said that:

The petition has already been filed, duly executed. The decision [on granting political asylum] is taken by the Commission under the President of the Russian Federation. The reasons for this, in my opinion, is. Mihran Poghosyan is being persecuted in his homeland for political reasons.

Poghosyan is best known for his shady offshore financial dealings as first reported by Hetq in April 2016 after the release of the Panama Papers.

The SIS launched a criminal case into Poghosyan’s offshore transactions in 2016 but dropped the matter in January 2017.

Poghosyan served as Chief Compulsory Enforcement Officer (CCEO) of Armenia from 2011 until his resignation in April 2016.

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