“Zhoghovurd” says that former President Robert Kocharian’s conviction and imprisonment is inevitable because “anyone who committed crimes must be held accountable sooner or later regardless of their status and chronology.” “This fact has been established as a reality during Nikol Pashinian’s rule,” writes the pro-government paper. It goes on to lambaste Pashinian’s Health Minister Arsen Torosian for refusing to “face up to the reality” and “fleeing” from a news conference held by him on Tuesday.
“Zhamanak” says that Kocharian’s continued arrest depends on the Constitutional Court’s upcoming ruling on one of his appeals. “If the Constitutional Court decides that there is a problem [with his arrest and prosecution] it will effectively mean that Robert Kocharian has to be freed before his trial resumes on September 12,” writes the paper. “That would in turn mean a new political situation which could somewhat lose the current authorities the confidence of radically-minded strata of the society. Against that background, Armenia is due to host a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) summit which will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The paper points to rumors about Putin’s possible boycott of the summit in case Kocharian is not released from custody.
“Aravot” comments on angry verbal exchanges between Kocharian’s supporters and detractors. “The problem is not so much Kocharian’s being or not being in jail as the fact that just like many other phenomena this case has become an occasion to split the society,” editorializes the paper. “Just like Amulsar, just like the Istanbul Convention, just like any major political development. Generally speaking, those who have made Levon Ter-Petrosian, Robert Kocharian, Serzh Sarkisian and Nikol Pashinian subjects of hatred are most active in the social life these days. The voices of other people are not heard, while the haters demonstrate remarkable unity. Unity should be displayed on other issues relating to national interests. In the United States, for example, [President Donald] Trump’s supporters and opponents are united on some key issues.”