YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–President Robert Kocharian expressed on Thursday his dissatisfaction with the performance of Armenia’s Office of Prosecutor as he introduced the country’s newly appointed Prosecutor-General.
Kocharian said the role of the law-enforcement agency has diminished somewhat under the previous Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian who was relieved of his post on Wednesday. "Compared to other law-enforcement bodies–the prosecutor’s office has experienced a certain decline in terms of its place and significance," he was quoted by his press office as telling senior prosecutors.
Calling on prosecutors to be more active and resolute in combating crime and government corruption–he asked them to keep in mind the interests of the nation–and spare no efforts to preserve investment activity in Armenia–that has already produced solid economic results.
In introducing the new Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian–Kocharian described him as "professional–firm–and principled."
Hovsepian–who served as prosecutor-general from 1998-99–was forced to resign along with the ministers of interior and national security in the wake of the October 1999 killings in the Armenian parliament.
Kocharian explained that Hovsepian had been forced to resign for purely political reasons. "I think that [his appointment] is also a restoration of justice," he said.
In conclusion–the President emphasized that the Prosecutor’s Office is a body approved by the Constitution and should assume its responsibilities thoroughly. "I expect more decisive work from the newly appointed Prosecutor and you," the leader of the country underscored. "There is a [anti-corruption] program approved by the government–that features a quite important role to the office. We expect more resolute work from the new prosecutor."