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Press Review


“Hraparak” says Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian’s case for lifting former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s immunity from prosecution during parliament debates on Monday was “unconvincing.” The paper says that Hovsepian and pro-government deputies ignored the fact that a criminal suspect is not obliged to prove their innocence and that nobody complained about the crime allegedly committed by Oskanian. “Such accusations cause more harm to the state’s authority than the crime itself,” it says.

“Zhamanak” says that in his speech at the National Assembly Oskanian emphasized the political aspect of the case. The paper says this means that Oskanian either has no hopes for being acquitted by court or is simply worried that the National Security Service (NSS) can prove his guilt. It also speculates that the “extremely emotional” character of the speech suggests that Oskanian is in a “somewhat panicky mood.”

Interviewed by “Aravot,” lawyer Seda Safarian voices misgivings about the Armenian National Congress’s calls for the creation of a new parliamentary commission to investigate the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan. Safarian says the current National Assembly hardly has a desire to conduct an objective inquiry. Vartan Harutiunian, an opposition-linked human rights activist, likewise says that it is practically impossible to solve the killings of ten people on March 1-2, 2008 under the current Armenian authorities. “No matter how many commissions you create, you will bump into the reality which faced the former Fact-Finding Group,” he says.

“Irates de facto” quotes Artak Zakarian, the chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on foreign relations, as saying that official Yerevan expects to see “clear steps” from the Hungarian government before restoring diplomatic relations with Budapest. “If Hungary does not admit its share of responsibility for the glorification of the murderer [Ramil Safarov,] that is their government’s problem,” says Zakarian. He does not specify whether Yerevan would be satisfied with an official apology or a Hungarian demand for Azerbaijan to send Safarov back to Hungary or put him in an Azerbaijani prison.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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