(Saturday, August 4)
“Aravot” says that some of the witnesses in the criminal investigation into the March 1 clashes in Yerevan gave conflicting testimony which it says exposed investigators’ desire to cover up security forces’ responsibility for the bloodshed and blame it on opposition posters. “This desire clearly manifested itself even during the interrogation of victims,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” looks forward to the launch of a fresh inquiry into the clashes which will involve international experts. The papers says it will “give answers to many questions. “At least it will become clear who or which party is the real culprit on this issue,” it says. The pro-government daily at the same time slams European organizations for their continuing criticism of the Armenian authorities’ handling of the post-election crisis.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” analyzes the latest public statements by former President Robert Kocharian and “his teammates” such as Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian. “Robert Kocharian is hinting that he is intent on returning [to the political arena] not as a prime minister,” says the opposition paper. It says Oskanian’s statements made in an interview with Armenian state television amounted to harsh criticism of President Serzh Sarkisian’s foreign policy. Oskanian said, in particular, that now that Armenia has strengthened its state institutions and its economy Sarkisian can afford to pay more attention than Kocharian did to democratization and human right protection.
Ara Ketikian, deputy chairman of the Yerkrapah Union, assures “Haykakan Zhamanak” that none of the groups of Armenian war veterans that split from Yerkrapah to set up their own organization has proved to be viable. “As a result, the founders of these structures inevitably return to the Union of Yerkrapah Volunteers,” says Ketikian. “Our last congress, during which a number of figures returned [to Yerkrapah] and got elected to the Yerkrapah board, offered proof of that.” Yerkrapah is therefore not concerned about the post-election decision by some of Armenia’s top army officers to suspend their membership in the organization, adds Ketikian.