“Aravot” suggests that former President Robert Kocharian and his lawyers have adopted delay tactics in his ongoing trial on charges mostly stemming from the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan. The paper points to their “endless” petitions demanding Kocharian’s release from custody or the replacement of the trial judge and prosecutors. “Supposedly it should have been all the way around,” it says in an editorial. “Kocharian and his lawyers say that there is no [substantiated] criminal case … and that this will be clear to everyone as soon as the [substantive part of the] trial starts. If this is the case then they should be very interested in seeing the substantive trial start as soon as possible. For more than six months they have done everything to drag out the trial.”
“Zhamanak” reports that veteran politician Vazgen Manukian and his Vernatun discussion forum bringing together opposition figures are planning to hold a conference in Nagorno-Karabakh soon. The paper says that they want to use the gathering to criticize the current Armenian government’s policy on the Karabakh conflict. “But the real purpose of gathering will be a show of Armenian opposition support for [Karabakh] presidential candidate Vitaly Balasanian,” it says. The paper very critical of Manukian says Vernatun was set up to serve “partisan and parochial personal interests” of its leaders.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” takes a swipe at Armenia’s advisory Public Council which was headed by Manukian until this month. “Members of this body pursued political interests and effectively engaged in political activities,” writes the pro-government paper. It says that the current authorities should “think about having a real Public Council” that would be very different from the existing one. “The need for doing that is clearly there,” it says. “So is the opportunity.”