YEREVAN (Yerkir.am)—The owner of the Harsnakar restaurant whose bodyguards brutally beat up three Army doctors, one whom died on Friday, resigned from parliament Tuesday evening amid wide-spread public outrage and criticism of Amrenia’s oligarchic behavior that resulted in the death of an Armed Forces official.
Pressure has been building for ruling Republican Party Parliament member Ruben Hayrapetyan to resign his parliament seat, after he and his party members failed to properly condemn the impunity with which his bodyguards acted. On Friday, Dr. Vahe Ayetyan succumbed to his injuries and died, leaving behind his wife and two children.
While seven people have been arrested for the beating, the muted reaction from the Republican Party elite, including Hayrapetyan himself and President Serzh Sarkisian has been widely criticized.
“I am the first to blame myself,” said Hayrapetyan. “I should have stopped such a tragedy, but I was unable to do it. Such an incident should not have taken occurred in a place affiliated with me and my family. I cannot forgive myself and I don’t know how to ask for forgiveness.”
He went on claim that his was morally bound to resign his post in parliament.
“I hope one day I can be forgiven by Vahe’s family,” said Hayrapetyan.
“I would give anything to have been physically present on that fateful evening to stop the fists from coming down on those young people and stop the tragedy that claimed a life, ruined a family left children orphaned,” said Hayrapetyan in his resignation letter.
“I would give anything to be able to turn the time back. But I cannot. Vahe is no longer with us and I have to live with that. I have look in the eyes of his family members and I don’t know how I’m going to that,” added Hayrapetyan.
Hayrapetyan, also known as “Nemets Rubo,” is a known oligarch who owns numerous business ventures, among them the Bjni mineral water company (which bottles Bjni and Noy), a hotel also called Harsnakar on Lake Sevan, and a bank. He is also the president of Armenia’s Football Federation.
Although Hayrapetyan maintains he had no connection with the beating, his personal bodyguard, Garik Markaryan, allegedly inflicted the fatal injuries on Avetyan.
Hayrapetyan’s resignation followed reports that he visited the Presidential Palace earlier in the evening for a discussion on the events with the president.