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Hrant Gadarigian

Former Armenian Defense Minister Arrested in Defective Ammunition Probe

Former Armenian Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan has been arrested as part of a criminal probe regarding the supply of defective ammunition to the country’s military. 

The National Security Service (NSS) confirmed the news of Tonoyan’s arrest, stating that Tonoyan and Davit Galstyan, an arms dealer also arrested on Wednesday, are accused of fraud and embezzlement amounting to 2.3 billion AMD (US$4.7M).

Sergey Hovhannisyan, Tonoyan's lawyer, told reporters today that his client rejects the charge.

Yesterday, the NSS filed court motions to detain Tonoyan and Davit Galstyan, a well-known arms dealer. Galstyan has also been arrested. The court has yet to decide whether to detain the two.

Tonoyan, appointed defense minister in May 2018 and dismissed on November 20, 2020, once declared while defense minister that Armenia would capture more Azerbaijani territory in any new war.

Tonoyan and Galstyan have faced allegations of wrongdoing in the past. 

In November 2020, Armenia’s Ministry of Defense categorically denied rumors that   while Tonoyan was minister he sold arms to Turkey via a private company and that the weapons eventually turned up in the hands of pro-Turkish terrorists in Syria.

The press allegations centered around a $3.5 million loan the Armenian Defense Ministry gave to a private company headed by someone who supposedly is Tonoyan’s friend. 

Galstyan served as an advisor to Tonoyan when minister.

In February 2021, the NSS accused Galstyan of pocketing US$1million in a 2018 deal that supplied the Armenian military with defective artillery shells.  Galstyan was detained and denied the charge. He was released from pre-trial detention in May of this year.

UpdateYerevan’s Court of General Jurisdiction later today upheld a NSS motion to detain Tonoyan for two months.

Comments (2)

mihran robert mahmouzian
Siran B.
I recommend putting Pashinyan in jail.

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