ARF to File Slander Suit Against Ter Petrosyan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation will officially file a slander suit against ousted president Levon Ter-Petrosyan next week–announced ARF Executive Council of Armenia representative Vahan Hovanessian during a meeting Tuesday with students at the Yerevan State University.

The suit stems from an announcement last month by Ter-Petrosyan during the Armenian National Movement general assembly–who alleged that the ARF was–and continues to be–a terrorist organization–adding that during the ban of party activities in Armenia–the number of alleged terrorist activities had dropped or were non-existent.

Hovanessian said that the suit would also include the illegal expulsion from Armenia of late ARF leader Hrair Maroukhian in 1992–as well as the baseless suspension of ARF activities in Armenia following the now infamous Dec. 28–1994 Ter-Petrosyan decree.

Furthermore–Hovanessian cited Ter-Petrosyan 1995 statemen’s accusing the ARF of terrorism and repeating those claims in his February 1999 speech at the ANM assembly.

"This is called slander and for this Levon Ter-Petrosyan will respond in court," asserted Hovanessian.

The ARF leader also discussed the pending case against Armenia’s former interior minister Vano Siradeghian.

"We as a society came to the conclusion–through moral pressures–that Vanik Siradeghian is under investigation today and that he has fled Armenia’since he is being charged with the murder of seven people," Hovanessian told the assembled students.

The ARF leader added that through moral pressures from his party–today other crimes and abuses by former administration members has come to light.

He cited the recent embezzlement charges against former education minister Ashot Bleyan and the last week’s prosecutorial charges against the incredible financial mishandling in the Artik and Shirag regions as examples of revealing corruption by the former regime.

Hovanessian said that in the end–Siradeghian will definitely account for his actions.

The ARF leader also discussed ARF ideology–political course and other ARF-related issues–specifically pointing out his party’s historical and current mission of catering to the needs of the Armenian nation.

"Usually–handing the leadership over to one party is wrong–even if that party is the ARF," said Hovanessian in discussing the upcoming May parliamentary elections in Armenia. He said the ARF will participate in the election with a separate list.

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