A former mayor is suspected in illegally selling 10,000 square meters of Yerevan public land in 2008

 A criminal investigation led by the Special Investigative Service has obtained information that a former mayor of Yerevan has illegally approved the sale of 10,000 square meters of land in Yerevan’s Victory Park in 2008, the Special Investigative Service said in a news release.

In 2008 the Mayor of Yerevan was Yervand Zakharyan.

According to authorities the former mayor first removed the area from the layout of the park under the public green territory list and then sold it off to the Golden Palace Hotel by prices reaching as low as 16,476 drams per 1 square meter.

Years later, the Golden Palace Hotel LLC pledged the lands to a commercial bank for a 2,800,000 dollar loan in 2015. The amount of the money was further increased through changes made in the contract between the bank and the company and reached 12 billion drams, which is nearly 70 times more that the price paid for acquiring the territory, authorities said.

A criminal investigation has been launched on suspected official misconduct.

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