YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Jirair Sefilian, a Lebanese citizen of Armenian descent was released from prison Monday after being arrested in December 2006 on charges of allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.
Sefilian was greeted by more than a dozen friends and supporters as he left the Vartashen prison in Yerevan early in the morning.
Sefilian and another war veteran, Vartan Malkhasian, had been arrested and charged with calling for a violent overthrow of the government in December 2006 just days after setting up a new pressure group opposed to Armenian territorial concessions to Azerbaijan. A Yerevan court found Malkhasian guilty on that count and sentenced him to two years in prison in August 2007. The court cleared Sefilian of the charge but still jailed him for 18 months for illegally possessing a pistol which he had received as a gift from a former commander of the Karabakh Armenian army.
After being released, Seflian went to Yerablur National Cemetery, where Karabakh war dead are buried.