By Artak Hambardzumian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenian law-enforcement authorities arrested Zhirayr Sefilian, a radical opposition leader, on Monday, June 20, saying that he plotted to overthrow the government through an armed revolt.
Armenia’s Investigative Committee also announced the arrest of six other men accused of being part of an armed group formed by Sefilian. It claimed to have confiscated large amounts of weapons from them.
“Together with a group of other individuals, Zhirayr Sefilian planned to seize, through the use of firearms, buildings and communications facilities, including Yerevan’s television tower,” the committee charged in a statement. “For that purpose, he organized the illegal acquisition and transport by a group of individuals of weapons and ammunition and their storage in various locations.”
The statement added that eight unidentified persons have already been charged with illegal arms possession. No such charges were formally levelled against Sefilian as of Monday afternoon.
Sefilian’s associates said he was taken into custody shortly after law-enforcement officers began searching the offices of his New Armenia Public Salvation Front, a radical opposition grouping. They said the officers looked for weapons but did not find any, confiscating instead five computers as well as some documents.