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Hayrikian Again Criticizes Shooting Probe


Armenia - Presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian gives a press conference in Yerevan, 05Feb2013.

Armenia - Presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian gives a press conference in Yerevan, 05Feb2013.

Law-enforcement authorities have so far failed to solve the January 31 shooting attack on Paruyr Hayrikian despite arresting three men, a lawyer for the former presidential candidate said on Wednesday.

Levon Baghdasarian said his client believes that Vartan Sedrakian, another presidential hopeful, and the two other suspects had only “a tiny part in that monstrous crime.” Hayrikian is therefore demanding that investigators from Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) “identify the real mastermind within a reasonable period,” he told a news conference.

Sedrakian was arrested on March 5 on charges of organizing the apparent attempt on Hayrikian’s life which he strongly denies. The self-styled scholar predicted his arrest one week before the February 18 presidential election. He said the authorities will exploit the fact that he personally knows the two men accused of shooting and wounding Hayrikian.

The NSS says that both suspects, Khachatur Poghosian and Samvel Harutiunian, have confessed to the shooting.

According to Baghdasarian, Hayrikian believes none of the three arrested men could have been the main organizer of the shooting that nearly delayed the Armenian presidential ballot. Asked whether he suspects any individuals of involvement, the lawyer said, “Mr. Hayrikian can have numerous theories. But since an investigation is underway we are simply demanding that the investigators identify the real mastermind within a reasonable period.”

The NSS declined to comment on that demand, telling RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) only that the probe is still not over.

According to the Central Election Commission, Sedrakian garnered 0.42 percent of the vote, compared with 1.23 percent polled by Hayrikian.
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