Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” opposition leader Aram Sarkisian does not rule out the possibility that Hamlet Stepanian, one of seven men sentenced over the October 1999 attack on the Armenian parliament, was killed in Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison on Saturday. “With its results, the trial on the October 27 case spread suspicions in Armenian society,” he says. “The fact that three of the seven individuals who got lengthy prison sentences have died in prison can not be considered to be accidental.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t be so distrustful, maybe the convict indeed died suddenly without any external interference and it is not worth looking for a conspiracy,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “This may well have been the case. But that is not the question. The question is: why is it that any incident involving the October 27 criminals receives this kind of a public reaction? After all, officially, there was no force behind the criminals. They were just a bunch of romantic guys who acted alone and so on. But do many believe in that? In fact, there are no such people, even in governing circles. Everybody is certain that October 27 did have organizers.”
“Aravot” is skeptical about opposition media allegations that former President Robert Kocharian is intent on staging a palace coup. “A place coup succeeds when its participants have real power, which is what happened twelve years ago,” editorializes the paper. “Real power is now in the hands of the president, the government and, more importantly, security structures. Are there any signs that their leaders are ready to betray the president and their oaths of allegiance. We think there are no such signs at the moment.” The paper says the Armenian opposition is interested in spreading such rumors to “show just how weak the current authorities are.” “We are ready to trust in those rumors because political activity in Armenia has been seriously discredited and people see any possibility of change as being the result of intra-government intrigues,” it concludes.
“The constitution and the country live and exist separately,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “And the problem is not that our constitution is bad. There are no bad constitutions. Everyone has written democratic constitutions in the world, as a result of which their democratic essence has ceased to interest anyone. The issue of its preservation has become more timely.”