YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s chief prosecutor will on Wednesday make a second attempt to persuade parliament to remove the immunity of former interior minister Vano Siradeghian and allow his prosecution on murder charges–it was announced on Tuesday.
But Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian will not insist this time on Siradeghian’s immediate arrest–leaving it at the court’s discretion.
In late January–Hovsepian accused Siradeghian of ordering the murders of two police officers after they failed to assassinate an Armenian-born Russian businessman in December 1993 when he was interior minister. The National Assembly then voted down his demand to strip the ex-minister of his parliamentary immunity. Siradeghian left Armenia on January 26–hours after Hovsepian said he will again approach parliament.
Observers say the fact that the arrest issue has been removed from the prosecution’s demand will facilitate its approval by deputies. President Robert Kocharian has said he will dissolve parliament if it again rebuffs the prosecutor over the Siradeghian affair.