The statement of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern concerning ex-foreign minister Vartan Oskanian only increased suspicions against the ex-official, says the head of the Republican faction, Galust Sahakyan.
"Did they see only Oskanian in Armenia? Let someone give me $200 for charity purposes," the Republican official said hinting at the $2 million transferred to Oskanian's Civilitas Foundation by Huntsman International LLC.
"If the law enforcement authorities fail to prove Oskanian's guilty they will have to apologize to him or it will have certain consequences," he said.
On October 8, Vartan Oskanian was summoned to the National Security Service (NSS) and formally charged with misappropriating the money donated by a U.S. philanthropist to his Yerevan-based Civilitas Foundation in late 2010. Earlier, Armenian Parliament had stripped Oskanian of his immunity.
Oskanian denies the charges against him, regarding them as political persecution aimed at damaging him and his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) ahead of the 2013 presidential election in the country.
Earlier in October, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia issued a statement expressing his concerns over charges filed against Oskanian.
"This development, in my view, is bad for justice and democracy in Armenia. The case appears to represent the selective application of Armenian law. Moreover, the timing of these events in relation to the election schedule is troubling," John Heffern had said.