Opposition MP insists on prosecution of Armenian judicial watchdog head

Armenia –

Lawyer Aram Vardevanyan, an MP from the opposition Hayastan bloc, on Tuesday reiterated his call to prosecute the acting head of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) overseeing Armenian courts, Gagik Jhangiryan.

His comments came after suspended SJC head Ruben Vardazaryan on Monday released a secretly recorded audio of his conversation with Jhangiryan, who can be heard warning the official to resign or face criminal charges.

“Criminal proceedings should be launched against Gagik Jhangiryan,” Vardevanyan wrote on Facebook, citing the domestic law.

“Gagik Jhangiryan cannot participate in the hearings on disciplinary action against Ruben Vardazaryan, including in decision making. Given the first circumstance, Jhangiryan must inevitably be suspended, which will apply to all proceedings.

“The reputation of the judiciary, especially the SCJ, and the legitimacy of the 2021 elections have been irreparably damaged,” Vardevanyan said.