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Samson Martirosyan

Armenian Prosecutor General's Office Examines Hetq Investigation of Armen Sarkissian's Finances, Citizenship

Armenia’s Prosecutor General's Office is examining a recent Hetq investigation revealing that former Armenian President Armen Sarkissian failed to declare more than ten million Swiss francs when he served as the country’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Sarkissian and his sister Karine Sargsyan held the money in a Credit Suisse Bank joint account. The revelation was made as part of the SuisseSecrets international journalistic investigative project, in which Hetq participated.

Prosecutor General Gor Abrahamyan, in an interview with Azatutyun Radio, said:

"We paid attention to the article immediately after it was published. At the very beginning of the first working day, it was registered at the prosecutor's office, thus initiating an investigation, considering that it contained specific information that the former president had money in his bank accounts. As you know, not declaring or including incorrect information or data in the declaration is an action prohibited by criminal law. Therefore, it is subject to mandatory investigation," Abrahamyan said.

On January 24, Hetq published the first part of its investigation of the Saint Kitts and Nevis dual citizenship of former President Armen Sarkissian. The Prosecutor General's Office sent then article to the National Security Service (NSS) the next day for investigation.

The other day Hetq wrote to the NSS asking about the status of the criminal case regarding Armen Sarkissian’s dual citizenship had reached and whether the former president had been questioned.

The NSS, since 2021, has been investigating the criminal case looking into Sarkissian’s British citizenship based on a report submitted by former Chamber of Advocates President Ara Zohrabyan. The NSS was supposed to have investigated Sarkissian’s dual St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship issue as part of this case.

The NSS told Hetq that it’s investigating the criminal case as to whether Sarkissian falsified official documents. The NSS didn’t answer our other questions, arguing that preliminary investigation data are not subject to publication.

The NSS has questioned Hetq Editor-in-Chief Edik Baghdasaryan in reference to the above case.

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