By Emil Danielyan
Murad Bojolian, a jailed former government official accused of spying for Turkey, will go on trial soon after an eight-month criminal investigation shrouded in secrecy, his defense attorney said on Tuesday.
The lawyer, Hovannes Arsenian, told RFE/RL that he is currently looking into the indictment drawn up by the Armenian ministry of national security. He said it will then be sent to a Yerevan court of first instance which will set the date for what will be the first espionage trial in independent Armenia's history.
Arsenian previously hoped that Bojolian, who headed the Armenian foreign ministry's Turkey desk in the early 1990s, will be set free for lack of evidence. He again refused on Tuesday to detail the charges brought against the former official, saying that he needs "ten more days" to study them thoroughly.
The national security ministry has categorically refused to divulge any details of the case throughout the inquiry.
Bojolian was arrested at an Armenian checkpoint on the Georgian border last January while he traveled to Turkey by bus together with his wife Lyudmila. It is still not known whether he has pleaded guilty to the allegations that he collected confidential "political, military and economic information" for Turkey's MIT intelligence service.
In a recent newspaper interview, Lyudmila Bojolian claimed that her Turkish-born husband was prosecuted because of his failure to repay money owed to two Turkish businessmen who operated in Armenia. She said the businessmen had close commercial links with Karlos Petrosian, the controversial national security minister.
A specialist on Turkish affairs, Bojolian is said to have earned a modest living from retail trade since leaving the Armenian foreign ministry in 1997. Also, he was an occasional news contributor to several Turkish newspapers in the late 1990s.