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Armenia: War Hero Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

Screenshot of an RFE/RL television report from the sentencing of Samvel Babayan, a former war hero now rival of President Serzh Sargsyan, for charges of arms smuggling Babayn claims were trumped up.

On November 28, a court in Yerevan sentenced Karabakh war hero Samvel Babayan to six years in prison. Long a controversial figure, Babayan was convicted on charges of conspiring to illegally acquire a surface-to-air missile and smuggling counterfeit Euros. Babayan was arrested last March, shortly before elections in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and he has been in jail since then.

Although marginalized in Yerevan politics, Babayan remains a popular figure in Nagorno Karabakh itself and the case appears to be related to the incumbent president’s effort to consolidate power ahead of April 2018 constitutional transition.

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Armenia: War Hero Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

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