Ex-Head of Armenian National Security Service Held on Suspicion of Plotting to Kill PM Pashinyan
Sofia Chegodaeva. Sputnik International
14:02 GMT 14.11.2020(updated 15:12 GMT 14.11.2020)
Earlier this week, protests took place in Yerevan, with people demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's resignation after the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan was signed, ending weeks of military confrontation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The former head of the Armenian National Security Service, Artur Vanetsyan, has been detained on suspicion of plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and seizing power, Vanetsyan's lawyer, Lusine Saakyan, said.
"Today, Vanetsyan was invited to the investigation department of the National Security Service and detained on suspicion of committing acts under the articles of complicity in the illegal acquisition, sale, storage of weapons; preparation of a coup; preparation of the murder of a state, political or public figure committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy," Sahakyan wrote on Facebook.
She also described Vanetsyan's detention as "shameful political persecution aimed at helping the authorities to remain in power and implement anti-statehood programmes".
Vanetsyan, former head of the Armenian National Security Service and leader of the "Fatherhood" party, has been taking part in protests in Yerevan, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Pashinyan. People have been taking to the streets after the signing of a ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the mediation of Russia.
In the early hours of Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached a ceasefire agreement which resulted in the loss of some territories controlled by the Armenian-majority self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and the deployment of up to 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to the region. Pashinyan said that the ceasefire was not about surrender but the preservation of the territories, adding that ensuring stability in the country was top priority now.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been engaged in a decades-long conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. A new episode of escalation started on 27 September, with both sides blaming each other for the resumed hostilities.
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