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For Assaulting a Woman, Syunik Regional Governor Might Serve 2 Months in Prison

Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) has launched a criminal case on charges of Article 118 (“Battery or committal of other violent acts… is punished with a fine in the amount of up to 100 minimal salaries, or correctional labor for up to 1 year, or with arrest for the term of up to 2 months”) based on a written testimony by entrepreneur Silva Hambardzumyan who said that she was attacked by Syunik marzpet (regional governor) Suren Khachatryan outside the Armenia Marriott Hotel on Nov. 14.

According to a statement issued by the SIS, Hambardzumyan was offered to get a doctor’s note but she declined to undergo an examination, explaining that though she experienced pain from the attack, she did not sustain any bodily injuries.

Note as well, that a statement was also issued by the Syunik regional council on its official website, in which Suren Khachatryan denies the allegations of battery.

“We consider it necessary to declare that this news is untrue: it is a fabricated, absolute lie and defamation, directed against RA Syunik marzpet Surik Khachatryan,” reads the statement.

The SIS, in turn, notes that Hambardzumyan was called in for clarifications regarding statements she made at a Nov. 10 press conference in which she alleged that Suren Khachatryan and his son are drug addicts.

“He’s a well-known drug addict; if you don’t know, let me tell you. His brother, son — they’re all drug addicts. His son was arrested then released for his drug addiction,” she had said.

Previously, the entrepreneur had asserted that Khachatryan stole 102 million drams’ worth of equipment from the Litchqvaz-Tey mine, which belonged to Hambardzumyan before the license for her Sipan 1 gold mining company was revoked by authorities. Following the accusations, Khachatryan publicly threatened to take Hambarzumyan to court, saying that he purchased the equipment.

Photo: Special Investigative Service of the Republic of Armenia

 Updated 12:02 pm same day: “councillor” changed to “governor” to better reflect position and contribute to a better translation of  the Armenian “marzpet”.