“Haykakan Zhamanak” reveals the identity of one of the two men arrested on Wednesday in connection with the September 6 assassination of Shahen Hovasapian, head of a State Taxation Service division in charge of combating tax fraud. The paper says the suspect, Armen Virabian, is a former police officer who heads an important investigative unit within that division. It says investigators began suspecting Virabian of involvement after it emerged that he spent several hours with Hovasapian’s driver a few days before the car bombing. The paper also notes that shortly before his death Hovasapian was rumored to be close to becoming the Armenian customs chief. “One of the discussed theories of the murder has to do with this,” it says.
Political expert Manvel Sargsian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Azerbaijan is disinterested in a settlement of the Karabakh conflict because it “lost a territory that does not belong to it” and is “ready to wait for 150 years in the hope of regaining its loss one day.” “In general, it is easier to keep what you lost than to legitimize what you gained,” he says. “In this sense, Azerbaijan has an easier task.”
Another, Armenian-American commentator, Richard Giragosian, is quoted by “168 Zham” as saying that Armenia should be more active in countering Azerbaijani diplomatic offensives at the United Nations. Armenia, he says, should try to offset the fallout from the fires in occupied Azerbaijani lands by raising the issue of scandalous destruction of Armenian monuments in Nakhichevan with the UN.
“Aravot” says Armenian oligarchs’ favorite argument in defense of their political ambitions is that they have created jobs and need to protect them. “They at the same time remind that they are big benefactors, even though it is obvious that benevolence can be considered as such when the benefactor keeps silent about his good actions and when he stands to gain nothing from those actions,” editorializes the paper. “Otherwise, that is an investment. From $100 in unpaid taxes they return $1 to the poor in an act of ‘charity’. Those ‘lords’ have their gangs (i.e., bodyguards) who can use force against any person whose face is not liked by the ‘boss.’”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that Arman Sahakian, a former deputy mayor of Yerevan , is determined to stand in next month’s local election in the city’s Ajapnyak district, despite his Republican Party’s refusal to back his candidacy. The paper says Sahakian’s father Galust, who is a senior party figure, was seen leaving the presidential palace in Yerevan “in very high spirits” a few days ago. It claims that President Robert Kocharian has promised to lend support to Arman’s bid to become Ajapnyak mayor.