ASBAREZ ONLINE [06-14-2004]


1) Council of Europe Wraps-up Fact Finding Mission to Armenia
2) Armenians in Paris Rally against Turkey EU Entry
3) Georgia’s President Reaffirms $100 Million Allocation to Repair Javakhk
4) Former Armenian Defense Chief Released From Jail
5) Party Leader Shot in Azerbaijan

1) Council of Europe Fact Finding Mission to Armenia Wraps-up

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–A representative of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary
Assembly (PACE) met on Monday with President Robert Kocharian and a string of
other senior Armenian officials, to end a fact finding mission on Armenia’s
compliance with democratic standards set forth by the organization.
Jerzy Jaskiernia, the Armenia rapporteur of the PACE’s Monitoring Committee,
is to draft a report on whether the Armenian administration is following the
recommendations contained in the assembly’s April 28 resolution on the
political crisis.
“We will present our findings in our report. We don’t like to make any
comments during the visit,” Jaskiernia told reporters when asked to comment on
his findings.
Pointing to the release of all senior members of opposition parties, he
commented, “I think there is an intention by the government to fulfill that
resolution. Several of its elements have already been fulfilled,”
The PACE resolution warned that the Armenian government must immediately free
all individuals arrested for their participation in the opposition protests
investigate “human rights abuses” or face the possibility of PACE sanctions
next September.
However, the main focus of Jaskiernia’s meetings in Yerevan was the idea of a
referendum of confidence in Kocharian, suggested by the Armenian
Court in the wake of last year’s disputed presidential election. Government
officials reiterated their view that the proposal was not binding. Jaskiernia

2) Armenians in Paris Rally against Turkey EU Entry

PARIS (Yerkir)–A public rally in opposition to Turkey’s accession to the
European Union took place in Paris on Friday, June 12. The rally was organized
by the Armenian National Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of
Participants of the rally gathered around the monument of Komitas, which was
built in dedication to the victims of the Armenian genocide. From there, they
marched to the presidential palace, where in December of this year, French
President Jacques Chirac is expected to announce his final opinion on Turkey’s
admission to the European Union.
In addition to the recognition of the Armenian genocide, EU resolutions
adopted in 1987 and 2004 specify that Turkey must withdraw its troops from
northern Cyprus, lift its blockade of Armenia, guarantee the rights its
minority population and release its political prisoners before talks dealing
with the country’s accession to the Union are to begin.

3) Georgia’s President Reaffirms $100 Million Allocation to Repair Javakhk

TBILISI (Armenpress)–Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili reaffirmed plans
to allocate approximately $100 million for the reconstruction of roads
connecting Georgia’s Armenian-populated region of Javakhk to the capital city
of Tbilisi. The money is expected to come from $400 million in combined US and
IMF assistance for the repair of Georgia’s infrastructures.
Javakhk’s A-Info news agency reported Saakashvili confirmed the allocation
while in Adjaria, meeting with activists of his National Movement, saying that
improved roads would have a drastically positive effect on the region and its

4) Former Armenian Defense Chief Released From Jail

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Vagharshak Harutiunian, Armenia’s former defense minister
prominent member of the opposition, was released from jail late Friday
Harutiunian was arrested two months ago, charged with conspiracy to overthrow
the government.
The head of the investigations department at Armenia’s Office of
Prosecutor-General Andranik Mirzoyan, said that Harutiunian was set free
because he did not impede the ongoing criminal inquiry into his political
activities. Mirzoyan said that the charges leveled against the ex-minister
not been dropped, and that he may still face trial.
The move followed calls for Harutiunian’s release, by the head of the Yerevan
office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ambassador
Vladimir Pryakhin, who, earlier in the day said that the criminal case is
A senior member of the Artarutyun alliance, Harutiunian was among over a
opposition activists arrested last April on charges of calling for a “violent
overthrow of constitutional order” and insulting senior government officials.
“We do support enforcement of the law, but in this case the accusations are
quite weak because the suspect’s alleged crimes have not been properly
specified,” Pryakhin said, adding that he has repeatedly raised the issue with
Armenian prosecutors.
Harutiunian’s defense attorney, Robert Grigorian, argued that the prosecutors
have still not elaborated on their accusations. “They must specify which
speeches by Vagharshak Harutiunian… are deemed an insult against government
officials and which of his actions were aimed at a violent seizure of power,”
he said.
Harutiunian did not speak at any of the anti-Kocharian rallies held by
Artarutyun and the allied National Unity Party this year. The Office of
Prosecutor-General refused to comment on the details of the case, stating only
that “investigative actions” continue.

5) Party Leader Shot in Azerbaijan

BAKU (AP)–An opposition party leader known for his bold military exploits in
the war over the Mountainous Karabagh was shot and killed early Monday in
Azerbaijan’s capital, police said.
Fatulla Huseynov’s body was found by his neighbors outside his Baku home,
Yashar Aliyev of the city police. Neighbors reported hearing between four and
six gunshots minutes earlier.
Aliyev said police did not yet have a motive or suspect.
Huseynov, 67, was one of the leaders of Azerbaijan’s opposition Justice
He also served as the vice president of the Association of Football
of Azerbaijan. He had previously worked in Azerbaijan’s Interior Ministry and
headed the nation’s road police.
In 1992-93, Huseynov fought in Karabagh, earning the nickname the “black
colonel” for his unit’s military feats.

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress