Sarkisian Plans Powerful New Law Enforcement Agency

Military prosecutor Gevorg Kostanyan (left) has been nominated by President Sarkisian for the office of Prosecutor General

YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday nominated military prosecutor Gevorg Kostanyan for the office of Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia, replacing Aghvan Hovsepian, whose term of service has ended.

In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, the President has forwarded his nomination to the National Assembly, which votes to appoint the Prosecutor General.

In conjunction with this nomination, President Serzh Sarkisian has moved to set up a new and powerful law enforcement agency that will be tasked with conducting criminal investigations.

Sarkisian’s press office indicated on Wednesday that this “united investigative body” will bring together corresponding divisions of Armenia’s police, Defense Ministry and State Revenue Committee (SRC). It said in a statement that this structural change is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of inquiries into various crimes and the independence of officers conducting them.

The statement made no reference to the investigating arms of the National Security Service (NSS), the former Armenian branch of the Soviet KGB, or to the Special Investigative Service (SIS), suggesting that they will not be incorporated into the new agency. The SIS is subordinate to prosecutors and charged with investigating crimes committed by state officials and electoral violations.

The statement also announced that Sarkisian has formed an ad hoc commission that will draft new laws and legal amendments required for the creation of the new security agency. The commission is headed by former Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepian.

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