(Saturday, October 28)
“Hayk” continues to comment on the seventh anniversary of the 1999 terrorist attack on the Armenian parliament which it says plunged the country into a continuing “moral decline.” The opposition paper accuses the state propaganda machine of promoting and glorifying the “organizers of the terrorist act” and discrediting its victims. “And we wonder how the scum has taken over during a short period of time, while those who fight for justice have been eliminated from scene,” writes the paper. “We should not be surprised.”
According “168 Zham,” lingering suspicions about senior government officials’ involvement in the parliament massacre remain “timely.” “But the thing is that this scarce information not substantiated by concrete material seems to be satisfying everyone,” says the paper. “Nobody is aggressively demanding a number of answers regarding the October 27 attack anymore.”
“168 Zham” claims in a separate report that opposition leader Artashes Geghamian is seeking government support for his alleged plans to become head of Yerevan’s central and most important administrative districts. But, says the paper, the incumbent mayor of the Kentron district, Gagik Beglarian, wants to retain the post.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that state prosecutors are under pressure from the presidential administration to press the criminal case against Hakob Hakobian, a controversial businessman and member of Armenia’s parliament. The paper says this means that Hakobian will almost certainly fail to avoid going to jail even if the prosecutors are willing to cut a deal with him. “This is the reason why the traditionally kickback-seeking prosecutors headed by Aghvan Hovsepian have put forward such a big price tag to those putting in a good word for Hakobian that left the latter nonplused. They talked not about several hundred thousand dollars but several millions dollars.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Russia’s state-run Gazprom gas monopoly has publicized a new deal with the Armenian government that will increase its stake in Armenia’s ARG gas distribution network from 45 to 58 percent. “In essence, this is the process as a result of which the Armenian section of the Iran-Armenia pipeline will be given to Russia,” explains the paper. “Since this enterprise too is falling under Russian control, it means that the pipeline is being handed over to Russia, something which the Armenian authorities had long been denying.” Armenia, it says, will no longer be able to veto decisions made by ARG. “This in turn means that Armenia is losing a chance to serve as a transit country for Iranian gas because the Russians won’t use their pipeline running through Armenia for that purpose.”