By Vache Sarkisian
The head of the police criminal investigation department, Hrachya Harutiunian, tells "Hayots Askharh" that the media is constantly writing about rising crime in Armenia. He admits that violent crimes have been committed in recent days, but adds that the police took the appropriate response. Harutiunian pointed out that the killing in Nubarashen last month has been solved, the investigation of the killing of Karen Mkrtychian, dean of the Yerevan State University Russian Language Faculty, is on the right track, and another murder case was solved several days ago. He said the police work day and night, but the press reports only their failures. The public needs law and order, not a war between journalists and police, Harutiunian says. He also denies the reports that the Armenian Catholicos and senior government officials met with the leaders of criminal world when they recently visited Armenia for a major gathering.
"Aravot" reports that police have arrested businessman Nikolay Khachaturov was in connection with the killing of Yerevan University professor Karen Mkrtychian, and another suspect in the case has been released. Khachaturov met with Mkrtychian three days before he was killed and asked him to help his friend's son to pass the university graduation examination. During a house search, police discovered pictures showing Nikolay Khachatrian meeting criminal kingpins at Yerevan airport.
According to "Iravunk," morale in Armenia has plummetted to the critical level, when everybody believes that it is impossible to improve the situation without taking tough measures. And any tough measure usually starts with the search for scapegoats. If some political forces are searching for scapegoats in order to obtain senior positions in the law-enforcement agencies, the opposition thinks that the scapegoat is current President Robert Kocharian, "Iravunk" writes.
There some privileged people in the country who are driving in cars without license plates. Among them are the President Kocharian, the chairman of the constitutional court, the prosecutor general and the head of the parliamentary commission on defense and national security, Mher Shahgeldian, who is a deputy chairman of Orinats Yerkir Party. That could indicate that Orinats Yerkir is already included in the highest echelons of power.
The daily of Armenia's Dashnak Party, "Yerkir," criticizes newly elected Armenian parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian, who is also the chairman of Orinats Yerkir. Baghdasarian stressed several days ago that establishing ties between the parliaments of Armenia and Turkey is very important. "It appears to be that our parliament is ready to establish ties with the parliament of a neighboring country, when the two countries have no diplomatic relations at all and Turkey continues its blockade against Armenia," "Yerkir" writes. Maybe it would make sense if the speaker could combine his job with the post of minister of foreign affairs, "Yerkir" suggests sarcastically.