YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– With a vote of 102 for–0 against–and 1 abstained–the National Assembly of Armenia approved Wednesday Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepian’s revised petition to prosecute ex-Interior Minister–parliament member Vano Siradeghian. 58 representatives did not participate in the vote.
Five of the 8 parties represented in the National Assembly voiced their opinions on the petition before voting. The Self Determination Union–National Democratic Union–Hayrenik–and Yerkrapah parties supported the petition–while Siradeghian’s party the Republic Bloc stood against the petition.
Hovsepian assured during the parliament’s morning session that law enforcement agencies possessed sufficient information to institute criminal proceedings against Vano Siradeghian on count 17-15-100 (for plotting the assassination of Serge Jilavian)–clauses 4,7,9 of count 17-99 (for organization of the assassination of Artur Hovhannissian and Karen Rafaelian)–clause 3 of count 17-15-99 (for plotting the assassination of Kim Balayan and Gourgen Yeghiazarian). The Prosecutor General asked the National Assembly members to agree to the institution of criminal proceedings against member of parliament Vano Siradeghian.
Hovspeian repeated the description of the crimes made public at the January 25 session of the parliament–noting that it had been brought in line with the new Code of Criminal Procedures. In particular–it is said that the indicated person is being charged with a crime–but has not committed it. Unlike the previous petition–the current one does not include a demand on the arrest of Vano Siradeghian.
About twenty members of parliament–mainly from the "Republic" faction–asked numerous questions. Hovsepian’s answers clarified that in relation with the Kim Balayan case the law enforcement agencies possessed videotapes–which were recorded on orders of the then Interior Minister Vano Siradeghian without official warrant. According to the Prosecutor General–Siradeghian needed to kill Kim Balayan because at that time Balayan led a parliamentary committee for legal issues and launched some activities which aroused Vano Siradeghian’s discontent. One of the three persons arrested in Russia in connection with the attempt on Serge Jilavian’s life–Norayr Tadevossian–worked and is currently working at the Interior Ministry. One of the two murdered persons–Artur Hovhannissian (nickname "Kyazh")–has been wanted by the law enforcement agencies since 1991. He also had worked for the Interior Ministry for some time. Hovsepian said that despite numerous attempts–the law enforcement agencies have not succeeded in questioning Jilavian. Hovsepian did not elaborate–saying that the answers will be given after a preliminary investigation is completed.
The National Assembly decided to convene a special session at 6 p.m. to continue the discussions on the subject.