Arrests Confirmed: Controversial minister’s bodyguards in custody over violent incident

Archive photo/ Photolure

Armenia’s law-enforcement authorities have confirmed the arrest of several people believed to be bodyguards of Armenia’s Transport Minister Gagik Beglaryan on charges of severely beating up other persons in an incident that happened earlier this month.

According to Armenia’ Investigative Committee, five men have been taken into custody after allegedly attacking other men outside the Transport and Communication Ministry building in Yerevan on May 16.

A spokesperson for the Prosecutor-General’s Office said that the reasons for the brawl were clear to them, but she did not disclose them to media “out of interests of the investigation.” Sona Truzian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, however, that investigators have so far found no evidence of Beglaryan’s involvement in the violence.

The notoriously violent minister, who served as mayor of Yerevan in 2009-2010, was forced to resign over his violent behavior following a seating dispute during an opera concert in Yerevan involving his wife and an official of the presidential administration’s protocol unit. Beglaryan and his bodyguards then allegedly beat up the official, but avoided prosecution for his behavior that was described by a presidential spokesman then as “unacceptable and intolerable”. Beglaryan was appointed minister of transport two years later.