By Karine KalantarianPresident Robert Kocharian expressed on Thursday his dissatisfaction with the performance of Armenia’s Office of Prosecutor as he introduced its new boss to subordinates.
Kocharian said the role of the law-enforcement agency “somewhat decreased” under Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian who was sacked on Wednesday. “Compared to other law-enforcement bodies, the prosecutor’s office has experienced a certain decline in terms of its place and significance,” he was quoted by his press office as telling senior prosecutors.
Kocharian instead heaped praise on Tamazian’s replacement, former Deputy Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian, describing him as a “professional, firm and principled” person. He also mentioned the fact that the latter had long worked in Nagorno-Karabakh in Soviet times.
Hovsepian already served as prosecutor-general from 1998-99. He was forced to resign along with the ministers of interior and national security in the wake of the October 1999 massacre in the Armenian parliament. The Armenian military, which strongly challenged Kocharian at the time, blamed them for the ease with which five armed men entered into the parliament building in Yerevan.
Kocharian defended Hovsepian, saying that he had been sacked for “purely political” considerations. “I think that [his fresh appointment] is also a restoration of justice,” he said.
Kocharian, according to his office, went on to call on the prosecutors to be “more active and resolute” in combating crime and government corruption. He also warned them against meddling in business.
Kocharian’s decision to dismiss Tamazian came as a surprise to many prosecutors, according to some insiders. It is not clear what specifically prompted him to order the change.
Tamazian, meanwhile, told RFE/RL that he has not received any government job offers so far, but hopes to return to “active jurisprudence” in the future.
(Presidential press service photo)