October 12, 2012 - 19:31 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Prosperous Armenia member, former foreign minister Vartan Oskanian has characterized the charges against him as political persecution.
“I think the persecution bears a political character for two reasons. First, it has no legal basis. The case relates to a private foundation which got funding from a private individual. Neither the contributor, nor the foundation has issued complaints as the funds have not disappeared. Second, the charges are brought against a case that occurred two years ago. Armenia is currently getting ready for presidential elections, and I am a member of a party which may become a serious rival to the ruling one in case of involvement in the upcoming race,” ex-minister Oskanian said in interview with Deutsche Welle.
Asked about his future plans, he noted waging a struggle on a legal level pointless, given the political nature of the issue.
“The measures taken are also aimed against the party I represent and in general against democracy in Armenia,” he said, adding that the criminal case instigated against him won’t affect Prosperous Armenia’s future.
“As an influential party, Prosperous Armenia will have a decisive role in the upcoming presidential elections,” former foreign minister said.
The National Security Service (NSS) of Armenia brought a charge against Prosperous Armenia member, former foreign minister Vartan Oskanian October 8.
As NSS spokesman Artsvin Baghramyan said, Oskanian was charged under paragraph 1 of Part 3 of Article 179 of the RA Criminal Code (large-scale embezzlement, punished by 4-8 years of imprisonment with or without confiscation of property) and under paragraph 1 of Part 3 of Article 190 (misuse of illegally obtained large funds, punished by 6-12 years of imprisonment with or without confiscation of property).
On October 2, Armenian National Assembly resolved to strip Prosperous Armenia member, former Foreign Minister Oskanian of deputy immunity with 64 votes for, 6 against and 1 invalid, following two-day discussions over Civilitas Foundation fund misuse charges.