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‘Missing Documents’ On 2008 Post-Election Crackdown ‘Retrieved’


Artur Vanetsian, director of the National Security Service of Armenia, August 6, 2019

Most of the documents on the 2008 post-election crackdown that were missing from the National Security Service (NSS) have been retrieved and attached to the criminal case, the agency’s director told reporters.

Artur Vanetsian said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the retrieval of the documents became possible due to an internal investigation. He added that the files have now been referred to the Special Investigation Service that conducts the probe of the “March 1, 2008” case.

Asked whether any new circumstances have emerged due to the new documents attached to the case, Vanetsian said: “I won’t answer in detail. I’ll just say that yes, there were some very interesting documents that I think the body conducting the investigation will soon speak about.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian first spoke about the missing documents at the NSS during his press conference on May 8. He said then that “prior to their resignation the previous authorities destroyed some materials at the National Security Service.” The prime minister described it as a crime.

The documents in question concern the events in Yerevan on March 1-2, 2008 in which 10 people, including two security officers, were killed as authorities used force to quell opposition demonstrations protesting fraud in presidential elections.

Robert Kocharian, who was outgoing president at that time, is now in detention on charges stemming from his alleged role in suppressing the nonstop demonstrations. The former president, in particular, is accused of overthrowing the constitutional order by involving the army in the domestic political matter.

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