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YEREVAN. – Artur Vanetsyan, Director of the National Security Service (NSS) of Armenia, on Monday declined to comment on the course of the ongoing investigation along the lines of the criminal case into the wiretapped telephonic conversation between him and Special Investigation Service Head Sasun Khachatryan.

“I can’t say anything,” Vanetsyan told reporters. “The Investigative Committee is examining the case, expertise examinations have been commissioned; the Investigative Committee will give explanations.”

And when asked about course of the criminal case against second President Robert Kocharyan, the NSS chief said an operative work was being carried out, and specific announcements would be made once this work was completed. Artur Vanetsyan did not offer any other comments. 

In their wiretapped telephonic conversation which was posted on the internet on September 11, Vanetsyan and Khachatryan were discussing some particulars of the criminal cases which have been launched into the events that had occurred in capital city Yerevan in March 2008. Also, they had mentioned the name of the judge who later granted the petition to remand second President Robert Kocharyan in custody along the lines of a criminal case into those events.

Second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan was charged 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.

On July 27, Kocharyan was remanded in custody for two months by a court decision. But on August 13, 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 the grounds that he had presidential immunity.

Both the Prosecutor General’s Office and the defense, however, appealed this decision. In addition, the defense argued that there were other grounds too for the release of their client.

On March 1 and 2, 2008, the then authorities of Armenia used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the then 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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