“Zhoghovurd” reacts to the arrest warrant issued on Tuesday for former Defense Minister Mikael Harutiunian over his role in the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. The paper says that law-enforcement authorities have not only indicted him but also questioned the legality of the February 2008 presidential election. “But it must be noted that not only the Defense Ministry but also other security structures played a role in the overthrow of constitutional order,” it writes, adding that the former chief of the Armenian police, Hayk Harutiunian, could also be charged by the Special Investigative Service (SIS).
“Zhamanak” is worried that the arrest of Ara Vartanian, the executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund accused of embezzlement, could deal a serious blow to the reputation of the charity mostly financed from the Armenian Diaspora. The paper hopes that the fund will continue its operations despite the scandal. It says that Vartanian’s arrest should on the contrary contribute to “the revival of the fund.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the arrest and possible prosecution on assault charges of the chief bodyguard of businessman Gagik Tsarukian, Eduard Babayan, could be “the first serious test” for the new chiefs of Armenia’s police and other law-enforcement bodies. “The results of that [investigation] will show whether something is changing or things are remaining unchanged and even getting worse,” writes the paper. It wonders whether Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian will tell investigators to be “consistent” or will avoid supporting them in a possible confrontation with Tsarukian. “After all, Gagik Tsarukian is an ally of this new government,” it says. “Will the law apply to this temporary ally?”
At the same time, “Hayots Ashkhar” suggests that Pashinian would benefit from a criminal case that could prove highly embarrassing for Tsarukian. It argues that Tsarukian and his Prosperous Armenia Party are widely regarded as Pashinian’s main rivals in parliamentary elections expected later this year or early next.