Armenia’s National Security Council chief, Armen Grigoryan, on Thursday expressed concern over apparent leaks of confidential documents to a BBC Russian Service reporter, who in an article published Wednesday, revealed new information about the ongoing March 1, 2008 probe.
The BBC article claimed that order to shoot protesters during the March 1, 2008 standoff between protesters and security forces was given by Major-General Samvel Karapetyan of the Artsakh Armed forces, who had led a battalion to Yerevan at the time. The BBC also reported that the then president Robert Kocharian and president-elect Serzh Sarkisian visited the unit stationed in the basement of the Presidential Residence at 26 Baghramyan, according to the leaked documents.
“Of course, we are concerned,” said Grigoryan, Armenia’s security chief. “It’s important for us that there is no leak of calssified information because confidentiality means security and safety. It’s necessary to investigate and understand how those documents appeared in the hands of the media.”
Grigoryan cited numerous incidents of leaks around the world saying that there is no country that has not encountered unwanted publication of classified government documents, citing WikiLeaks as an example.
“Everybody has problems with confidentiality. WikiLeaks is a good example. The entire cache of secret documents of one of the most powerful countries—the United States—appeared in the media. We are not immune [from this] but we are making all efforts to minimize the risks,” Grigoryan said.
On Thursday, Armenia’s Special Investigation Service told Azatutyun.am that it did not provided any information to the BBC on the case concerning the 2008 post-election violence.
The SIS, on Thursday, confirmed to Azatutyun.am that on July 4 the BBC sent an inquiry seeking clarifications on the ‘March 1’ case. “But on July 9, the SIS told them that no information on their questions could be provided in the interest of the investigation,” the SIS stressed.
Talking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) on Wednesday, the author of the BBC story, Grigor Atanesian, stressed that they would not publish the information if they had any doubts about the veracity or the origin of the document. He, however, refused to disclose the source of information.