By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian joined on Monday other senior law-enforcement officials in promising to cooperate with a special parliamentary commission overseeing the continuing criminal proceedings into the 1999 assassinations. Tamazian and members of the multi-party panel met behind the closed doors to discuss its activities.
“The prosecutor expressed readiness to make materials [of the probe] available to and support us,” the deputy chairman of the commission, Gagik Kostandian said after the meeting.
The ministers of interior and national security last week promised to ensure that the commission have access to all detainees charged in connection with the parliament shootings. The commission is to investigate allegations that Nairi Hunanian and the four other jailed gunmen that seized the parliament building on October 27, 1999 receive secret instructions from influential forces that may have masterminded the killings.
It has already called for Hunanian’s relocation from the detention site of the ministry of national security to the interior ministry jail, citing his allegedly long-running links with the former KGB. The request is being considered by Judge Samvel Uzunian who presides over the ongoing trial of Hunanian and other parliament attack suspects. Interior Minister Hayk Harutiunian and several other top law-enforcement officials have spoken out against the idea.
The commission, which must report to the National Assembly before the end of November, appears to be widening the scope of its activities. On Monday it decided split into five “working groups” that will concentrate on different aspects of the politically explosive case.
One of the groups will look into Hunanian’s claim that he and some other defendants were tortured by investigators into implicating President Robert Kocharian and his allies in the murder of former prime minister Vazgen Sarkisian and former parliament speaker Karen Demirchian, the two influential founders of the governing Miasnutyun bloc. Military prosecutors investigating the crime have strongly denied mistreating any of the gunmen.
Their separate inquiry into possible “organizers” of the massacre is still in progress. Prosecutor Tamazian said “certain investigative activities” are now underway but refused to elaborate.