Armenian court releases opposition leader on bail - Metro US

Armenian court releases opposition leader on bail

FILE PHOTO: Businessman and opposition leader Tsarukyan votes during a parliamentary election at a poling station in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Reuters) – An Armenian court on Thursday released opposition leader Gagik Tsarukyan, one of the ex-Soviet country’s richest men, who was arrested a month ago on suspicion of fraud, his lawyer said.

Tsarukyan, leader of the Prosperous Armenia party, was released on bail of 100 million drams ($200,000).

“The court made a fair decision considering all the new facts of the case including the martial law announced in the country,” lawyer Samvel Dilbandyan told reporters.

Tsarukyan has been under investigation on suspicion of vote buying, fraud and illegal land appropriation. He denied wrongdoing and said the charges against him were politically motivated.

Armenia declared martial law at the end of September following clashes between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway enclave within Azerbaijan that is controlled by ethnic Armenians.

(Reporting by Nvard Hovhannisyan; writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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