Khachatryan Murder Still Leaves Many Questions

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– Late last week–acting Prosecutor General Zhirayr Kharatian gave additional details about the murder of the Prosecutor General Henrik Kachatryan.

Kharatian said that on the day of murder–August 6–he met with Khachatrian two times as well as talked to him over the phone. During their first meeting–before Khachatrian went to the meeting of the government–he informed him (Khachatrian) that the time period Aram Karapetian asked for to find the missing "transport case," which–still has not been found–had expired. Khachatrian ordered that criminal proceedings should be instituted.

Their second meeting at about 4:50 p.m. was very short. "Aram Karapetian agreed and submitted resignation–so–refrain from instituting criminal proceedings," Khachatrian told his deputy Kharatian. After that second meeting Kharatian returned to his office and a few minutes later assistant to the Prosecutor General–Chitchian–informed him about what had happened.

Kharatian also reported some details of the missing "transport case."

These criminal proceedings were instituted in May 1998 against a resident of the Parakar village Araik Khachatrian on fraud charges.

The Information Center of the Interior and National Security Ministry reported that criminal proceedings were instituted against Araik Khachatrian as far back as 1993–which–were later suspended in connection with Khachatrian’s disease. Eventually–the case turned out to be missing.

The inquiry held on orders of the Prosecutor General revealed that 12 days after the criminal proceedings were instituted the Transport Prosecutor of Armenia asked for the case from the investigation department of the Ministry of Interior and National Security and took it under the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor’s Office "in which there was no need–as it was a very simple criminal case."

Investigators of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security did not order the expert examination of the accused; it was ordered two days after the case was taken under the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Kharatian stressed that the accused did not suffer from serious diseases; the fact that he has not seen doctors since May 29–1993 testifies to this. According to Kharatian–the investigation found rather serious evidence that the case was deliberately destroyed.

Kharatian ruled out the supposition that Aram Karapetian had to kill Henrik Khachatrian under the pressure of the Mafia. "As a Prosecutor’s Office official–more or less informed person–I exclude any possibility of that," he said.

As for Aram Karapetian’s involvement in the cases that evoked a public response–in particular–in the case of the former railway chief–Hambartsoum Ghandilian–the acting Prosecutor General reported that in none of these cases was Karapetian either a witness or a suspect.

Kharatian confirmed the rumors that Aram Karapetian had debts–but "the preliminary investigation will reveal whether this circumstance is connected with the case."

According to Kharatian–the "murder and suicide" version was chosen proceeding from the results of the examination at the scene of crime–the accounts of the experts who were on the spot and those who were linked with Khachatrian and Karapetian.

At a journalist’s request Zhirayr Kharatian characterized Henrik Khachatrian and Aram Karapetian.

He said that Khachatrian considerably raised the prestige of the Prosecutor’s Office–established connections with Armenian and foreign organizations.

After the adoption of the "Law of Prosecutor’s Office," by the National Assembly–Khachatrian was preparing for structural changes in the Prosecutor’s Office which he couldn’t realize.

Aram Karapetian created an impression of "an ambitious man with dignity and self-respect who was keen on technics."

While working in the central body of the Prosecutor’s Office–he created a computer network and introduced it in some of the departmen’s of the Prosecutor’s Office. According to Kharatian–the question of whether such a man could take such a step "is psychological rather than juridical."

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