Balayan Denounces Siradeghian’s Election as ANM Chairman

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– "I can’t imagine any other country where a person who is charged with the plotting of murders can be elected member–moreover–chairman of the Party Board," Head of the Legal Service of the Executive Council of the ARF of Armenia Kim Balayan told Noyan Tapan while commenting on the reelection of Vano Siradeghian chairman of the ANM Board.

As a lawyer Balayan considers inadmissible the provision on immunity of deputies–which–he thinks–serves as a stimulus for criminal elemen’s to nominate themselves and penetrate into Parliament. In Balayan’s opinion the latest events connected with Vano Siradeghian after the Parliament rejected the Prosecutor General’s petition testify to this fact. Balayan thinks that the Prosecutor General had no right to remove the point concerning the arrest of Vano Siradeghian from the second petition–as the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates obligatory arrest of a person charged with such serious crimes.

Kim Balayan is sure that Armenia’s special services are aware of Vano Siradeghian’s whereabouts and that they did everything possible to ensure his personal security. "At least it is clear for me that Vano Siradeghian’s closest associates are interested in doing away with him–because it is clear that if arrested Siradeghian will get angry and give evidence against all of them–and the circle will broaden," Balayan said.

"The deputy immunity norm stipulated by the Constitution of Armenia creates favorable conditions for penetration of criminal elemen’s into the parliament," Balayan said. He said that it is necessary to remove a provision from the Constitution that bans the arrest and prosecution of a deputy without the National Assembly’s agreement."

Speaking of the Prosecutor General’s petition to prosecute chairman of the Armenian National Movement Board Vano Siradeghian–Balayan said that counts 100 and 99 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on which Siradeghian was charged stipulate detention–and the Prosecutor General had no right to remove this preventive measure from the second petition.

"Finally–when after the September 25–1996 events some opposition leaders were subjected to persecutions. We all could have run away–but we knew that we did not commit crimes and we were ready to prove that in court," Balayan said–adding "If Vano Siradeghian is not guilty–then why he has fled the country."

Balayan reported that he submitted the findings of former Prosecutor General Artavazd Gevorkian and former Acting Chief of the State Department for National Security David Shahnazarian–according to which Vano Siradeghian was suspected of various crimes. At that time David Shahnazarian agreed with him and said that he also possessed some facts proving Siradeghian’s involvement in crimes and that commensurate measures had been taken.

Commenting on ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s statement–wherein he said that he suspended the ARF because this party was involved in terrorist acts–Balayan said that making such a statement–Levon Ter-Petrosyan commits a crime as he assumes the role of a judge.


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