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Armenia Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan Promises to Intervene in Case of Deceived Homeowners

Homeowners promised apartments in new buildings on Aram, Yekmalyan, Buzand and Saryan streets in Yerevan, who for several days this week have been protesting outside the Armenian presidential residence, today gathered outside the government building in Republic Square.

This time they were asking for an answer from RA Minister of Justice Hrayr Tovmasyan. However, though the weekly government meeting ended, Tovmasyan didn’t leave the building from the main entrance and thus, protestors were unable to speak with him.

Demonstrators, however, had an opportunity to speak with RA Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan, who said that the matter wasn’t in his jurisdiction though he’ll try to intervene so their concerns are addressed.

“Our demonstration outside the presidential residence yielded no results, so we’ve come to appeal to the government. At the president’s [office], they told us to be patient a little, until May; that is, [until] after the [parliamentary] elections. What should we expect? The president responded to my letter, saying that legal disputes should be resolved in court,” Flora Sarukhanyan, who purchased an apartment on Yekmalyan St., told Epress.am.

After describing the issue to the defense minister, demonstrators again went to the presidential residence determined to continue their sit-in.

Recall, in 2006, the residents (whose apartments were recognized as public priority interest) agreed to leave their homes on the condition that they would be given apartments in the new buildings to be constructed on the same site. For this they signed an agreement with a developer by the name of Gagik Papoyan, but the residents still haven’t received their new apartments — in fact, the units have been resold to third parties.

Late last year, Armenia’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) launched a criminal case, but Papoyan cannot be found. Residents say the SIS informed them that that the case could take months as hundreds of people have to be questioned in connection with the case.