An Armenian state prosecutor yesterday gunned down the country’s Prosecutor General, Henrik Khachatrian, and apparently committed suicide afterward. The assassin, Aram Karapetian, was a senior prosecutor in the criminal investigations department of the Prosecutor General’s Office. He had previously been Armenia’s chief transportation prosecutor. President Robert Kocharian went on national television to praise Khachatrian as an honest man who had done his best to establish law and order in Armenia.
Khachatrian, 59, had been a Constitutional Court judge, then Prosecutor General since May 1997. He was nominated for the latter post by then-Prime Minister Kocharian, and was appointed by then-President Levon Ter-Petrosian. Under Ter-Petrosian, Khachatrian was involved in several judicial cases that antagonized certain political groups now in power. Following the fall of Ter-Petrosian and the election of Kocharian as president, Khachatrian cracked down on a group of corrupt officials in the Defense Ministry and another group in the state energy sector, and even arrested a bishop of the Armenian Orthodox Church on corruption charges. (See Monitor, July 7) Most recently, Khachatrian interrogated Vano Siradeghian, head of Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian Pan-National Movement, for alleged involvement in criminal activities. (Noyan-Tapan, August 6)
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