Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 April

Public Council president “firmly disagrees” with indictment of ex-President, CSTO chief

YEREVAN, JULY 30, ARMENPRESS. National Democratic Union party’s president Vazgen Manukyan, a former Prime Minister of Armenia and incumbent head of the Public Council, has weighed in on the arrests of former President Robert Kocharyan and the investigation of the March 1 case.

In a statement, Manukyan expressed concern over what he argues “that now, Armenia has become a theater of an actor, counterbalances – opposition parties, NGOs and the press - almost don’t function”.

“Our party and me personally have been strong opposition during the 10 years of Robert Kocharyan’s presidency, we blamed the government for many issues, and we opposed many decision.

But I firmly disagree with the accusations which have been brought forward against Robert Kocharyan and Yuri Khachaturov, I find it baseless, and [I find] the arrest dangerous, which is a blow to the security of our state. A baseless accusation against the persons who have had priceless roles in the greatest military victory of the last centuries of our people,” he said in part in the statement.

In the statement Manukyan also called for revealing the events surrounding the fatal incidents during the 2008 unrest.

“But everything must be done within the law – without seeking political goals or vendettas”.

“It is concerning that now Armenia has become an actor’s theater, counterbalances – opposition parties, NGOs, the press and others – almost don’t function. It seems like everyone are afraid and are waiting. This path will lead us to the year 37 [1937, Soviet Great Purge], war and isolation in the international arena,” he said.

Former President Robert Kocharyan, currently under arrest, is charged with breaching constitutional order during the final days of his presidency in 2008, in what is known as March 1 – the deadly protests which claimed the lives of two police officers and eight demonstrators.

CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, the Armenian general who served as deputy defense minister in 2008, is also charged with the same article.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan




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