By Astghik Bedevian
Two of the four Armenian opposition leaders cleared of controversial coup accusations said on Thursday that they will sue state prosecutors for what they described as “moral damage” inflicted on them.
Aram Sarkisian, Ararat Zurabian, Karapet Rubinian and Gurgen Yeghiazarian were charged with attempting to “usurp state authority” and provoking “mass disturbances” in Yerevan for that purpose following the March 1 violence in Yerevan. Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) decided last week to drop the accusations, citing a lack of evidence of their involvement in what it calls an opposition attempt to stage a coup d’etat.
Sarkisian, who leads the radical opposition Hanrapetutyun party, said he is dissatisfied with the move because the SIS failed to apologize and admit that the case against him should not have been brought in the first place. “They have tarnished my good reputation,” he told RFE/RL.
Sarkisian said he will file a lawsuit to demand moral compensation from the law-enforcement agency subordinated to the Office of the Prosecutor-General. Unlike the three other oppositionists, the Hanrapetutyun leader was not arrested following the March 1 riots.
Rubinian, who spent more than two months in detention, also pledged to take legal action against the investigators. “I visited the Office of the Prosecutor-General and handed my letter of protest addressed to the prosecutor-general [Aghvan Hovsepian] this morning,” he said.
“I know that Mr. Hovsepian will reject my complaint,” Rubinian told RFE/RL. “I will challenge that decision in court. On top of that, I will file a lawsuit for the compensation of material and moral damage inflicted on me.”
(Photolur photo: Karapet Rubinian.)