Citing unnamed police sources, “Haykakan Zhamanak” discloses the identity of four interior troop officers who it says fired tear gas capsules and killed three protesters on March 1, 2008. The paper says that many of their fellow servicemen hoped that the “murderous warrant officers and those who issued them with criminal orders” will be suspended or fired from the Police Troops. It also names a lieutenant-colonel who allegedly ordered the deadly fire and has been trying to “cover up the extent of his participation in the March 1 slaughter at any cost.”
Suren Abrahamian, an opposition figure who had served as interior minister in the late 1990s, tells “Aravot” that police troops could not have opened fire at the protesters without their commanders’ orders. “Who gave the orders?” he asks. “In which regiment, battalion did he serve? Where was it deployed?” Abrahamian dismisses investigators’ assurances that it is impossible to forensically identify who killed the three men with tear gas bullets.
“Golos Armenii” predicts that the planned March 1 rally in Yerevan will mark the start of a new opposition campaign of anti-government protests. The pro-government paper says attendance at those protests will steadily weaken and the opposition campaign will fizzle out “as was the case during the opposition’s previous spring and autumn offensives.” It condemns the pro-opposition press for its “fairy tales” about Armenians pressuring Levon Ter-Petrosian and his allies to launch a new drive for power. In fact, it says, the Armenian public is preoccupied with issues that are more important than the “seizure of government buildings.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” carries an interview with Diaspora Armenian journalist Hamo Moskofian who accuses the Armenian opposition of receiving millions of dollars from “certain Western intelligence services.” Moskofian denounces opposition plans to stage another anti-government demonstration by Armenian Americans in Los Angeles.
In an interview with “Kapital,” the chief U.S. Nagorno-Karabakh negotiator, Matthew Bryza, makes a case for a compromise solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. “The United States, Russia, France and all Minsk Group member countries recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, which is a very important principle for that country,” he says. “But the principle of self-determination is the most important for Armenia.” Bryza believes that a compromise peace deal should be based on a combination of these principles.