(Saturday, October 14)
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says Hakob Hakobian, a controversial parliamentarian whose immunity from prosecution was lifted on Friday, is doing everything to avoid imprisonment. “According to rumors circulating in the parliament, deputy Hakobian recently presented Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian with a villa,” says the paper, adding that Hakobian has decided to leave Armenia. He will lose many of his business assets in the process, it claims.
“168 Zham” notes that in his speech at the National Assembly Hakobian implied that he was not prosecuted for tax evasion earlier because he paid kickbacks to tax and law-enforcement officials. The paper finds the claim “sensational.” Nonetheless, it says, the prosecutors are now free to do “anything which they do to ordinary citizens.” “Last night deputies were already cautious in talking to each other and trying to find out which button others pressed [during the Friday vote on Hakobian’s case.]”
Sociologist Hranush Kharatian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that a legal provision allowing members of the National Assembly to put questions to members of the Armenian government is largely ineffectual because of the poor quality of questions usually asked by lawmakers. “In that sense, the question-and-answer session at the National Assembly works against, rather than in favor of, some deputies,” she says. Television viewers watching those sessions see that those deputies are keen to appear on TV screens and not to bring the government to task, she says.
“Aravot” quotes the defense attorney of two brothers arrested on charges of assassinating Shahen Hovasapian, the former top government official in charge of combating tax evasion, as saying that tax authorities have launched a financial inspection of a furniture company belonging to them. Hovik Arsenian claims that the inspection “has nothing to do with that murder.” “They are trying to find something wrong there and bring [more] charges,” says the lawyer.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk would not have won a Nobel prize without the “genocide recognition hysteria that has been launched by the Armenian authorities and the Diaspora.” “Those who are trying to persuade the world that the Turkeys are blood-thirsty and barbaric people have put the same Turks in the ranks of the world’s greatest peoples. A people that has given birth to a writer worthy of a Nobel prize,” editorializes the paper. “And once again the Turks are scoring a very tangible and concrete victory in return for our ‘moral victory.’”