By Emil Danielyan
President Robert Kocharian on Wednesday unexpectedly sacked Armenia’s Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian, replacing him with his most influential deputy.
A statement by the presidential office gave no reasons for the move.
The new chief prosecutor, Aghvan Hovsepian, is one of the country’s most powerful law-enforcement officials. A staunch loyalist of Kocharian, he already held that post from 1998-1999.
Hovsepian, 50, was among top security officials who were forced to resign from their posts in the wake of the October 1999 attack on the Armenian parliament which left its speaker Karen Demirchian, Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and six other persons dead. He has since served as deputy prosecutor-general. Some local observers regarded as being even more influential than Tamazian.
Hovsepian has extensive business interests, reportedly controlling a leading dairy firm and a television channel. He has also built a political support base among prominent natives of the Aparan district in central Armenia where was he was born and grew up. Some of them were elected to parliament in last May’s elections.
The prosecutor’s covert involvement in politics was denounced at the time by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), one of the three parties represented in the government.
(Photolur photo: Aghvan Hovsepian.)