“Hayots Ashkhar” blames the Armenian opposition for the chaos that effectively disrupted on Tuesday the trial of seven opposition figures facing coup charges. The paper accuses opposition supporters of exerting pressure on the court. It says the only way to put the trial on track is to hold the next court hearings in closed session.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” lays the blame on the authorities and says President Serzh Sarkisian has made a “political decision” to have all seven defendants convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. The opposition paper also claims that the authorities have already come to terms with the prospect of Council of Europe sanctions against Armenia. It says the opposition should adjust its tactic accordingly.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Serzh Sarkisian indicated during a New Year’s reception for journalists hosted in his office on Tuesday that he will not declare a general amnesty for the opposition members arrested after the February 19 election. “I am not Santa Klaus to call a general amnesty,” Sarkisian is quoted as saying. He added that he could pardon only those oppositionists that would appeal to him.
According to “Hraparak,” Sarkisian also advised a journalist from the closed TV station A1+ to “prepare well” for the next tenders for broadcasting licenses due in 2010.