“[Prosecutor-General] Aghvan Hovsepian still can’t identify the murderers of March 1,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “So far they have identified anyone but the murderers.” Hovsepian told a senior U.S. official on Tuesday that three of the eight civilian victims of the unrest were killed by “special means” used by police forces. “No policeman has been arrested so far,” says the paper. It also pounces on Hovsepian’s remark that prosecutors are currently clarifying “where exactly each of the police officers who used special means performed their service on March 1.” “Come to think of it, it’s been almost four months since the events of March 1 and it is still not clear where each police detachment was deployed.”
Interviewed by “Zhamanak Yerevan,” Pargev Ohanian, a former judge who campaigned for Levon Ter-Petrosian in the recent presidential election, alleges numerous violations in the conduct of the official investigation into the March 1 clashes. Ohanian says in particular that the sites of the clashes were inspected by interior troops and not prosecutors or police investigators, as is required by Armenian law.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on the speech which opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian delivered during Friday’s opposition rally in Yerevan. “As always, he was relentless in both his criticism and evaluations and characterizations stemming from it,” says the paper. “But Ter-Petrosian was wrong to bypass the fact that a new government was formed in Armenia after the elections and has already taken some steps to defuse the country’s internal political atmosphere and initiate reforms in certain areas. On June 20 Ter-Petrosian was obliged to make a political evaluation of those steps.” By failing to do that Ter-Petrosian “proved the extreme subjectivity of his assessments,” concludes the paper.
“Some in the opposition camp suspect that Levon Ter-Petrosian and his inner circle are grooming a new candidate for the post of Armenia’s president,” says “Hraparak.” “They are still hiding the name of [Ter-Petrosian’s] successor,” claims the paper. “But our sources think that they have chosen David Shahnazarian. He is considered one of the least discredited members of the former government, has good connections abroad and is now acting like a go-between in contacts between Levon Ter-Petrosian and the international community.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees a radical change in Armenia’s policy on Turkey and the genocide issue which it says has been signaled by President Serzh Sarkisian. The paper reports that addressing members of the Armenian community in Moscow this week, Sarkisian said that he is “not against” the Turkish proposal to set up a commission of Turkish and Armenian historians that would look into the events of 1915-1918. He made clear, though, that such a commission should be formed only after the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border. “In effect, he agreed with the Turkish view that it has yet to proven that a genocide of Armenians was perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire in 1915,” claims “Haykakan Zhamanak.”