Pashinyan is mandated to cleanse Armenia of all oligarchs and empower civil society to gain control over Armenian Church
Posted on January. 11. 2021
Issue #1763, January 08-14, 2021
BY APPO JABARIAN Executive Publisher / Managing Editor USA Armenian Life Magazine (English-language print edition) USA Armenian Life E-Newsletter (Electronic Distribution — e-blast) Hye Kiank Armenian Weekly (Armenian-language print edition) USA Armenian LifeFACEBOOK www.armenianlife.com
In mid-2020, before the 44-day Artsakh War For Existence, Armenia’s Court of Appeals revoked an arrest warrant issued for Mikael Minasyan. Mikael Minasyan is an ally of Catholicos Karekin II, Karekin’s blood-brother child-molester Arch. Yezras of Moscow and fellow international crime cartel ‘associate’ Arch. Hovnan Derderian who is primate of the Western Diocese.
Following illegal revocation of the arrest warrant by cronies of Minasyan’s father-in-law former kleptocratic president Serzh Sargsyan, Armenian investigators said that they have broadened corruption charges brought against former Pres. Sarkisian’s fugitive son-in-law. The State Revenue Committee (SRC) said Minasyan has been charged with more counts of “illegal enrichment,” false asset disclosure and money laundering. It claimed to have collected an “unprecedented” amount of information about his dubious financial activities.
Minasyan was first indicted in March 2020 one month before the SRC moved to arrest him. A district court in Yerevan agreed to issue an arrest warrant for him on May 6. However, Armenia’s Court of Appeals which continues to be controlled by former regime lackeys overturned that decision triggering wide public criticism of the Pashinyan administration.
In a statement released around that time, the SRC charged that Minasyan had also failed to declare his “de facto” ownership of a 49 percent stake in Armenia’s largest food-exporting company, Spayka. The stake officially belonged to another person, Roza Stepanyan. She too has been indicted as part of the same criminal case, according to the statement.
In a related development, Hrachya Hakobyan, a pro-government lawmaker and Pashinyan’s brother-in-law, said that investigators have recovered thousands of deleted files from a computer that belonged to Minasyan. He claimed that the files contain detailed information about Minasyan’s financial transactions and illegally acquired assets.
Minasyan, 42, enjoyed considerable political and economic influence in Armenia when it was ruled by his father-in-law from 2008-2018. He is also thought to have developed extensive business interests in various sectors of the Armenian economy. Minasyan fled Armenia shortly after he was dismissed as ambassador to the Vatican in late 2018.
Minasyan’s case is only the tip of the iceberg. All previous three regimes starting from Pres. Ter-Petrosyan to Serzh Sargsyan including Catholicos Karekin II, Western Diocese’s Arch. Hovnan Derderian and other high-ranking corrupt clergies, are implicated in massive misappropriations ranging from siphoned funds to illegally acquired assets. During his days as primate of Canada Diocese, Derderian had stolen funds from a charitable fund earmarked for aiding first Artsakh War fallen soldiers’ orphaned children and widows.
Additionally, the lay people in Armenia are deprived from their constitutional rights (By-Laws) in Armenian Apostolic Church.
While in Diaspora’s free world Armenians enjoy full democratic rights in all churches operating under Holy Etchmiadzin jurisdiction, Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh are deprived of such rights.
While Diaspora Armenians are fully empowered by the Armenian Church By-Laws to hire and fire their pastor; to elect delegates to annual diocesan assemblies to hold diocesan primates accountable and to ensure transparency, Armenians in the Homeland are deprived of all such rights. Catholicos Karekin II has usurped all these rights. Karekin II and his ‘associates’ run the Church as his personal fiefdom and as a bedrock of his international crime cartel engaging in money laundering and newborn baby trafficking among other nefarious activities.
Armenia must protect the rights of its citizens to create, implement and maintain Armenian Church By-Laws in all church in Armenia operating under the jurisdiction of Holy Etchmiadzin. Catholicos Karekin II and his gangster allies shall not be allowed to suppress the rights of the laypeople. It is not Karekin II who should appoint primates for various dioceses in Armenia. It is the laypeople’s delegates who should elect diocesan primates. Just like it is done in Diaspora churches operating under Holy Etchmiadzin jurisdiction.
As head of the Armenian government, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s plate must be full. But nothing should stop him from carrying out his mandate.
Pashinyan is mandated 1) to fully enforce the law on Confiscation of Illegally-Acquired Assets; 2) to cleanse Armenia’s Judicial System from all corrupt judges and prosecutors that have allowed themselves to become lackeys of former kleptocrats and oligarchs; 3) to clean up state bureaucracy from all corrupt government employees who have mostly ‘bought’ their jobs to enrich themselves through systematic bribery.
Although PM Pashinyan must be credited for having made some inroads, but the task ahead is huge and needs persistent pursuit, consistent attention and executive willpower.