Arshak Sadoyan was one of the first MPs to be stripped of his immunity as a deputy: "The label of an enemy of the people was attached to me for political reasons, in connection with the elections".
He was stripped of immunity after expressing his disagreement with the outcome of the 1996 presidential election. His political team together with a group of people attacked the National Assembly, after which Mr. Sadoyan had to go underground for a year. In the opinion of Sadoyan, the current petition of the Prosecutor General regarding Vartan Oskanian is not entirely political. "It angers me when some people try to present purely economic, financial deals as political ones".
Human rights activist Avetik Ishkanyan says that parliamentary immunity has been introduced to prevent an MP from being prosecuted for his/her political activity, whereas stripping a deputy of immunity is typical of non-democratic states.
Avetik Ishakanyan considers the Vartan Oskanian case an example of political persecution. In his words, if Oskanian had announced his intention to support Serzh Sargsyan as a presidential candidate a day before the prosecutor's petition, no one would have charged him with money laundering. "It is not late for him to announce this, everyone will forget about his prosecution soon," he said during a talk with A1+.
Throughout Armenia's history, the National Assembly has always granted the prosecutor petitions to strip opposition deputies of their immunity. This happened in case of Vano Siradeghyan who in 2000 was charged with ordering murders, while in 2008 deputies Hakob Hakobyan, Sasun Mikaelyan, and Myasnik Malkhasyan were stripped of their immunity and arrested after being charged with inciting riots. Unlike them, MP of Prosperous Armenia party (BHK) Vartan Oskanian is charged with money laundering and embezzlement. Today the parliament will vote whether to strip Oskanian of immunity or not.