Two prominent opposition politicians formally asked law-enforcement authorities on Tuesday to launch criminal proceedings in connection with the scandalous recording and disclosure of their recent conversation at a Yerevan café.
Levon Zurabian, the parliamentary leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), and former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian demanded a criminal investigation immediately after the audio was posted on the Internet at the weekend. They also accused the Armenian authorities of illegally wiretapping their discussion of sensitive political issues.
The Office of the Prosecutor-General said on Monday that it cannot launch such an inquiry before receiving formal requests from either man.
Zurabian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that he and Oskanian have already appealed to the prosecutors in writing through the secretariat of the Armenian parliament, of which they both are members. “We must be persistent on this issue because what happened was a crime against rights guaranteed by the constitution and laws,” he said.
Zurabian also dismissed the National Security Service’s strong denial of any involvement in the wiretapping condemned by representatives of the country’s leading political groups. “It is evident to us that this is a crime committed by special services,” he said. “They say that they have nothing to do with that. If that’s the case, let them identify the real criminals.”