Gagik Avetisian, one of the prosecutors at the parliament attack trial, tells “Aravot” that the latest actions by the Demirchian and Sarkisian families playing into the hands of Nairi Hunanian and his accomplices. Avetisian describes as “ludicrous” lawyer Oleg Yunoshev’s allegations that the prosecution and the defendants work in a “single team” that pursues the same goals. He says the victims’ relatives have no right to question decisions of the court.
As “Haykakan Zhamanak” notes, the prosecution and the victims’ families are now following “extremely opposite tactics.” “The prosecutors are trying to quickly finish the trial, while the victims do not want to allow that. According to a reliable source, the prosecutors got an explicit order to speed up the trial. That will allow the authorities to turn the page of an undesirable history and confine the October 27 terrorist act and suspicions regarding its organizers to the annals of history,” the paper writes pessimistically. As for the victims’ relatives, they are now desperately trying to drag out court proceedings in the hope that the truth about the parliament killings will eventually emerge.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” the Armenian opposition can not mount a campaign of economically motivated street protests against the ruling regime because less than a third of the country’s population is prepared to take part in a radical form of political activity. Most Armenians are unhappy with their rulers only “in a broader sense.” The paper says they equally dislike the opposition.
“Aravot” believes that the mandatory disclosure of senior government officials’ incomes, introduced last year, has proved ineffectual. “It turned out last year, that all of our officials live in misery, eat only bread and water and survive only at the expense of their rich wives, mothers-in-law and even children,” the paper comments sarcastically. It says the much-vaunted law on financial disclosure is not an effective instrument for reducing corruption. Under that law, for example, government officials who fail to submit their financial statements to tax authorities only risk being 50,000 drams ($86).
“Azg” criticizes the government’s methodology of calculating the poverty threshold. The paper says that line is set too law. The official survival minimum of 9,000 drams “is not enough for even leading a half-hungry life,” it says. “In fact, the government does not care about overcoming poverty, whereas talking about it, developing special programs and leaving the situation unchanged is a lot more beneficial. That means getting multimillion loans and grants from international financial organizations, the ‘efficient’ ways of spending which our officials know very well. Also, it becomes easier to hold on to power with vote bribes.”
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the owner of the Yerevan-based ALM private television, Tigran Karapetian, accuses the National Commission on Television and Radio of seeking to shut down his channel. Karapetian cites the commission’s decision this week to fine ALM for violating alcohol advertisement rules. He claims that the commission’s chairman, Grigor Amalian, has told his lawyer that ALM will soon be taken off the air. He says the commission is unhappy with the channel’s talk shows that often criticize the authorities.