Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 March

BREAKING: Police casualty of March 1 events was gunned down by special forces, says SIS chief

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Director of the Special Investigative Service Sasun Khachatryan has disclosed new details over the ongoing March 1 investigation.

Speaking to reporters today at a press conference which was initially about the wiretapping of a phone conversation between him and National Security Service director Arthur Vanetsyan, he first of all said that they have discovered the top secret 0038 order, which hasn’t been included in the criminal case for more than 10 years.

“When the top secret order was discovered it became clear that the army has participated in these events. Moreover, the army has taken part since February 23 [2008], and by the secret order a terming was made what after assessing the election results as fair and free certain individuals and organizations do not accept it and are causing unrest. Please take into account that the order was issued on February 23rd, meaning one day before the central electoral commission published the election results. Meaning, one day ahead Robert Kocharyan and Michael Harutyunyan were aware that the central electoral commission was to declare Serzh Sargsyan as the winning candidate, and that international structures were to assess this election as free and fair. And in this case an order is signed to bring the army to a barracks state and to prevent the peaceful demonstrations,” Khachatryan said.

He said that when the investigation revealed that under the 0038 order mobile and stationed groups were formed, Robert Kocharyan’s lawyers made statements claiming that these groups were formed in order not to allow Gagik Melkonyan and Manvel Grigoryan to involve the army in certain processes.

“They were making such arguments which to say the least aren’t serious. After this they said that the army didn’t participate in the March 1 events, and that it was brought to a barracks state. Our investigation has already revealaed that not only has the army taken part in the March 1 events, it has opened gunfire, the army has shot at the direction of people’s apartments. We have specific evidence that servicemen of the armed forces of Armenia have opened automatic gunfire in the direction of the buildings in Leo Street [Yerevan], after a burning bottle has been thrown from someplace in the balconies. Meaning, the army has taken part in those operations with its entire volume,’ Khachatryan said.

The SIS chief made one more disclosure, stressing that the public must know what has really taken place. He said that the secret order has led to soldiers being on duty without shifts to replace them, and that dangerous conditions were created, which has even led to a sabotage act. “This all has impacted the combat readiness of the army. While the most embarrassing thing that they have done with the army is that officials have turned merceneraies out of our soldiers. The criminal case has already found out that during this period, from February 23 to March 7-8, soldiers of the army have been given money by oligarchs, in order to defend them, their possessions, their political aspirations,” Khachatryan said, presenting documents.

He showed paperwork including the names of the servicemen who have been paid. He said more details will be disclosed soon.

He said that bodyguards of oligarchs have been given armored vests during those days from the defense ministry’s storage facilities.

Perhaps one of the most scandalous disclosure of Khachatryan was the circumstances surrounding the death of servicemen of the internal troops Tigran Abgaryan, one of the 10 deaths of the March 1 events. 8 of the casualties were civilians while two were soldiers.

Khachatryan said that Tigran Abgaryan has been killed by special forces. “We have special evidence over this”, he said. “Tigran Abgaryan was killed when Robert Kocharyan had already declared a state of emergency, but there were no wounded servicemen yet. Our version is that Abgaryan received a gunshot wound in order for Robert Kocharyan’s speech about having casualties to be justified,” he said.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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