Etchmiadzin Has a New Mayor as Former Fights Corruption Charges

By Asbarez | Thursday, 28 June 2018

The newly appointed mayor of Etchmiadzin (Vagharshapat), Diana Mnatsakanyan.

The newly appointed mayor of Etchmiadzin (Vagharshapat), Diana Gasparyan. (Source: ARMENPRESS)

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan appointed Diana Gasparyan as acting Mayor of Etchmiadzin (Vagharshapat).

The position had remained vacant after the former mayor, Karen Grigoryan, stepped down. The Special Investigative Service has launched criminal proceedings against Grigoryan, whose father, retired Army General Manvel Grigoryan was charged with grand theft and possession of illegal weapons last week.

Former mayor Karen Grigoryan with his remanded father, Manvel Grigoryan.

Former Etchmiadzin mayor Karen Grigoryan with his remanded father, Manvel Grigoryan.

On June 23, the Armenian Special Investigative Service charged former mayor of Etchmiadzin, Karen Grigoryan, with grand theft of supplies that were supposed to be given to the Artsakh army.

In the days of the 2016 April War, members of the Armenian Community of Russia NGO, had acquired three UAZ SUVs, thermal vision devices and military uniforms to be transferred to Armenia as aid.

Representatives of the organization arrived in Armenia and were accompanied with then mayor of Etchmiadzin Karen Grigoryan. They departed for Artsakh to donate the items to Artsakh’s defense ministry. While in Artsakh, they handed the equipment over to Karen Grigoryan and his father.

The vehicles — worth over $22,000 — were not, however, transferred to the Artsakh military by the Grigoryans. Rather, the father and son embezzled them, transported them back to Etchmiadzin, stored them in their private facility and used it at their disposal.

Karen Grigoryan has not been remanded and is free on a bail bond.