Home / Police / Prominent Armenian Oppositionist Arrested Over Alleged Takeover Plot

Prominent Armenian Oppositionist Arrested Over Alleged Takeover Plot

Zhirayr Sefilyan, the leader of opposition movement Founding Parliament, was arrested by Yerevan police Monday for allegedly organizing illegal purchase and possession of weapons and ammunition and plotting to seize the Yerevan TV Tower. 

According to a statement issued by Armenia's Investigative Committee, police officers arrived at the scene of a car accident on Yerevan's Tsitsernakaberd highway to discover two AK-74 rifles and 120 rounds of ammunition in one of the cars: “The driver and the passenger of said car have been detained on suspicion of illegal possession and transportation of weapons and ammunition. A criminal case has been initiated under article 235.2 of the Armenian Criminal Code (illegal purchase, transportation or carrying of weapons, ammunition, explosives or explosive devices, committed by a group with prior agreement)."

Investigation has revealed, the statement continues, that Zhirayr Sefilyan, along with a group of other people, planned to organize an armed takeover of the capital's important communication buildings and structures, including the Yerevan TV Tower, and hence he had organized the aforementioned weapons' illegal purchase and transportation. The two pieces of arms found at the scene of today's accident, the Investigative Committee claims, were only a small portion of the weapons and ammunition in Sefilyan's possession.

“Based on the evidence obtained during preliminary investigation, eight people have been charged with illegal acquisition, transportation and storage of arms and ammunition; 6 of the suspects were arrested, another one is wanted by police.  The charges are confirmed both by multitude of preliminary evidence and the confessions of the members of the group,” the Committee said.