Wednesday, March 17, 2004

RFE/RL Press Review

16 March 2004

"Iravunk" says Yerevan's chief prosecutor, Hrachya Badalian, has imposed an information blackout on the criminal investigation into Friday's café gunfight in central Yerevan that was heard by the Armenian and Georgian presidents. "This fact suggests that individuals linked to high-ranking officials were indeed involved in the incident," the paper says. Among the "active participants" was the son of Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian.

"Hayots Ashkhar" similarly complains that the only information on the case it managed to obtain on Monday was that Badalian "is not in the office." The paper finds the very fact of groups of young men settling scores in a public place outrageous. Citing information from unofficial sources, it says the gunfire was provoked by a disputed over the ownership of the café called Triumph.

"Azg" notes in this regard that Triumph belongs to Armen Gevorgian, a key aide to President Robert Kocharian.

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