YEREVAN (Armenpress)-Speaker of the Parliament Tigran Torosian, members of the parliament and government officials gathered Monday morning at a monument erected in front of the National Assembly building to remember the victims of the 1999 October 27 parliament attack.
The Armenian parliament was attacked on October 27, 1999 by a group of armed men led by Nairi Hunanian, a former journalist. They sprayed the assembly with bullets in front of TV cameras killing prime minister Vazgen Sarkisian, parliament chairman Karen Demirchian and six other government and parliament members.
The gunmen took dozens of government members and parliamentarians hostage before surrendering to law-enforcement agencies the next morning. They were sentenced to life imprisonment following a lengthy trial in December 2003.
"Eight years have passed since the tragedy, when we lost our best friends, but I think the pain and the sorrow have not reduced over these years," Torosian told journalists. "We have only one consolation," he said. "The goals we cherished together are being materialized, the problems are being solved, and the country we wished to have is being built step-by-step. This is what can further us and somewhat relieve the pain."
Asked by journalists whether the masterminds of the attack’s have been discovered, the parliament speaker said he hopes that everything was done to reveal all the details of the crime, adding, however, there are crimes that are only fully exposed years and even decades after the fact.
"Therefore, I think only those who are fully aware of all the details of the investigation can give assessmen’s of this heavy crime," he said, stressing that all that was possible was done to reveal the details of the crime.
The parliament speaker was also asked to comment on ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s speech at Friday’s rally in which he implicated the involvement of top government officials in the crime.
Torosian said it was immoral to capitalize on the October 27 tragedy as part of an election strategy.
Commemoration ceremonies were also held Monday at Yerablur cemetery, the Komitas Pantheon and the Municipal Pantheon by relatives and friends of the victims, as well as political figures and the general public.