Armenian newspapers report on the latest twist in the long-running trial in Budapest of an Azerbaijani army officer who hacked to death an Armenian classmate attending a NATO course in the Hungarian capital two years ago. Paper says the Hungarian prosecution demanded on Tuesday that a Budapest court sentence Ramil Safarov to life imprisonment. The court is expected to hand down a ruling on April 13.
Another hot topic of the day is plans by Greece’ OTE telecommunications giant to sell it’s Armenian subsidiary, ArmenTel. Citing an ArmenTel spokeswoman, “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says that the Greeks have not even informed the Armenian government of their plans. A spokesman for Justice Minister David Harutiunian, who has personally represented the government in its dealings with OTE, likewise says that that he is unaware of the planned sell-off of ArmenTel.
“Aravot” reports that Manuk Gasparian, an outspoken opposition-leaning parliamentarian, has asked a court in Yerevan to invalidate the Public Service Regulatory Commission’s March 10 decision to allow a substantial increase in the price of natural gas in Armenia.
“Aravot” also reports that activists of Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun party discovered on Monday that the two windows of their closed office in Yerevan were opened by somebody. The office is located in a building belonging to a state theater. “Despite the fact that the office door is locked from the outside, some people freely enter and leave it from the theater,” says Hovsep Khurshudian, a Zharangutyun leader. He said the party has appealed to the police and prosecutors in connection with that. But as the theater director, Karapet Shahbazian, assures the paper, law-enforcement officials have visited the place and certified that it remains intact.
“Hayots Ashkhar” is worried about rumors that a U.S. Mormon is set to be appointed vice-president of the American University of Armenia. The paper, which is strongly opposed to activities of non-traditional religious groups, says the appointment would mark “yet another serious success in the ‘mormonization’ of Armenia.”