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Hayrikian Unhappy With Shooting Probe


Armenia - Presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian speaks to journalists outside the Constitutional Court, Yerevan, 10Feb2013.

Armenia - Presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian speaks to journalists outside the Constitutional Court, Yerevan, 10Feb2013.

Paruyr Hayrikian, a defeated presidential candidate, said on Thursday that he is still far from recovering from a gunshot wound sustained on January 31 and criticized the ongoing criminal investigation into the mysterious shooting.

“The investigators are behaving strangely,” Hayrikian wrote on his Facebook page. “They identified the perpetrators but there is no further progress. They probably don’t have enough independence. That can also be dangerous.”

Hayrikian, who was wounded in the right shoulder, did not elaborate.

Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), which is conducting the investigation, refused to comment on the criticism.

The NSS arrested two men in connection with the shooting on February 7. It has yet to comment on their motives or clarify whether it thinks they acted alone or on others’ orders.

Meanwhile, Hayrikian was transferred on Thursday from Yerevan’s Surp Grigor Lusavorich hospital, where he underwent surgery early this month, to a Red Cross rehabilitation center just outside the capital.

Writing on Facebook on Wednesday, Hayrikian complained of continuing “killing” pains and said he cannot use his right hand. One of his aides, Vrezh Zatikian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the hand is now effectively paralyzed.

The apparent assassination attempt condemned by opposition and pro-government politicians nearly delayed the conduct of Armenia’s February 19 presidential election. After repeated flip-flopping, Hayrikian decided not to seek a two-week postponement of the vote.
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