February 23
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YEREVAN. – Artak Davtyan, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, has dismissed Special Investigation Service Head Sasun Khachatryan’s announcement with respect to the army’s involvement in the events that occurred in capital city Yerevan in March 2008.

At Wednesday’s briefing, reporters attempted to find out from Davtyan—who at the time was serving as chief of the operative department of the armed forces—as to what was discussed at the consultation ahead of March 1, 2008.

“The proceedings of the criminal case [into these events] are in progress,” Davtyan said, in particular. “I can’t comment on the matters related to the case materials.”

When said it is claimed that Armenia’s frontline had weakened due to the deployment of troops to Yerevan at that time, Davtyan assured that this was not the case. “The work was as usual,” he added.

As for a link between the events in Armenia and the Azerbaijani sabotage in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) in March 2008, Artak Davtyan said there was sabotage, but it had cost dear to the adversary, and it would be disputable to link these two developments.

In response to Tuesday’s claim that the army had fired on residential buildings in Yerevan during events in March 2008, Artak Davtyan stated that this was not so.

“If they fired shots, some individual servicemen [did that],” he added. “We can’t speak about the whole army. There was no such order.”

At the same time, Davtyan assured that the investigators probably have more information than he does, after the ten years since these events in Yerevan.

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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