Ruben Hayrapetyan, an MP of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and President of the Football Federation of Armenia, has put down his deputy mandate following the pressure of civic activists and media representatives in connection with the deadly incident at his Harsnakar Restaurant.
In a written statement issued earlier on Tuesday, Hayrapetyan said he ‘feels moral responsibility for the death of Vahe Avetyan, one of the three military doctors who were attacked at the restaurant and who died 12 days after the beating without regaining consciousness.
"I would give everything to be at the restaurant on that ill-fated night and to hold the fists raised at the doctors and to stop that tragedy, which claimed a life, ruined families and made children orphans. I would give everything to roll back the wheel of time. But I cannot. Vahe is not alive. I have to live on with that and look into the eyes of his family members. I don't know how I can do that," Hayrapetyan said in the statement.
"They say everything must be within law. I am sure it will. But it is not only law. It is a much more complicated issue. I am well aware of this. Many are blaming me today, even for things that have nothing to do with me and are fabricated. They probably have the right to do that. But I am the first to accuse myself."
"I should have prevented that tragedy but I was unable to. Such an incident was not to happen and involve me and my family. I cannot forgive myself. Nor do I know how I can ask for forgiveness."
"I feel it my moral duty to lay down my mandate. I hope that one day I will manage to receive forgiveness from Vahe's family. In any case, I shall do everything for that."
"I condole with Vahe's relatives," said Hayrapetyan.
Earlier in the day, Ruben Hayrapetyan reportedly met with Serzh Sarkisian at the presidential palace in Yerevan.
On June 17, military doctor Vahe Avetyan was brutally beaten at the Harsnakar Restaurant owned by Ruben Hayrapetyan. Despite doctors' efforts to save his life, the young doctor, father of two children, died 12 days later without coming to himself.
Six men, including restaurant's security guards, were arrested and charged with assaulting the military surgeons. The main suspect in the case reportedly was one of Hayrapetyan's bodyguards.