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November 19
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YEREVAN. – Armenia’s former Defense Minister, former Military Inspector Mikayel Harutyunyan, who is being searched for along the lines of the criminal case into what had occurred in capital city Yerevan on March 1 and 2, 2008, is in Moscow, according to Hraparak (Square) newspaper. 

“The well-informed [sources] claim that Armenian law enforcement officers know his whereabouts, but they cannot detain [him]. The thing is that Harutyunyan is an RF [Russian Federation] citizen, and there is a suspicion that Moscow does not allow to detain him.

“By the way, SIS [Special Investigation Service of Armenia] Chief Sasun Khachatryan [had] stated that they will check whether he is an RF citizen.

“By the way, [Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Yuri] Khachaturov is also an RF citizen, and the well-informed [sources] claim that he would not have come [to Armenia] for questioning had he known that he was going to be included [in the aforesaid criminal case] as an accused,” wrote Hraparak.

As reported earlier, a charge has been brought against second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, former Defense Minister Mikayel Harutyunyan, and incumbent CSTO Secretary General and Armenia’s former Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Khachaturov, within the framework of the criminal case into the tragic events that transpired in capital city Yerevan on March 1 and 2, 2008—and under Article 300.1 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code; that is, breaching Armenia’s constitutional order, in conspiracy with others.

Since Harutyunyan is not in Armenia, a search for him was declared. On July 27, Khachaturov was released on bail, whereas Kocharyan was remanded in custody for two months by a court decision. But on Monday, the Court of Appeal granted Robert Kocharyan’s legal defenders’ appeal to commute the first-instance court’s decision on remanding their client in custody, and Kocharyan was released from courtroom.

On March 1 and 2, 2008, the then authorities used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the recent presidential election. Eight demonstrators as well as two servicemen of the internal troops were killed in the clashes. But no one had been brought to account for these deaths, to this day.

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