Artur Vanetsyan, head of the National Security Service of Armenia and Sasoun Khachatryan, head of the Special Investigative Service, have confirmed that the telephone conversation leaked on Youtube.com involves them. Artur Vanetsyan highlighted that he was in Geneva of Switzerland when the conversation was taking place.
In the tapped telephone conversation leaked on Youtube.com, the interlocutors are discussing the March 1st criminal case, the possibility of Yuri Khachaturov’s arrest, Chief Secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), they also speak about ex-president Robert Kocharyan, ex-Minister of Defense Mikayel Harutyunyan, another ex-Defense Minister, Seyran Ohanyan. The date of publishing on Youtube is September 5, however it became accessible to viewers only on September 11.
According to Vanetsyan, it is strange that a conversation between the heads of the National Security Service and the Special Investigative Service was tapped. “This raises a lot of concern and a meticulous investigation will be conducted regarding this and we will find out who wiretapped it. If I am not mistaken a criminal investigation has been initiated at the Chief Prosecutor’s office of Armenia on this matter and in the future we will know all its details.”
He also said that the conversation took place on the day when the court was discussing the motion to arrest Robert Kocharyan and he was discussing with the head of the Special Investigative Service strictly legal issues around the March 1st case.
“Given that Robert Kocharyan, the second president of Armenia, and Yuri Khachaturov were facing trial, it was necessary to be 100 percent sure that there be no flaws in the trial. Yes, such a discussion took place between me and Mr. Khachatryan and was of a strictly legal nature,” said Vanetsyan.
He also conveyed that on that very day he had received an expert opinion regarding the case, around which he needed comments and discussed it with the head of the Special Investigative Service as a lawyer.
Sasoun Khachatryan declared disclosure of their conversation without a court warrant a crime. “I find this to be an attempt of impeding investigation of the March 1st case.”
The head of the Special Investigative Service reaffirmed his attitude that the form of restraint against all those accused by the March 1st case should be arrest.
“I have informed the Prime Minister that motions will be presented to the court to choose arrest as a form of restraint. This is something we did in the case of Khachaturov. There are high-profile people involved in this case who have the capabilities to impede investigation. The body in charge of investigating believes that arrest will be effective in this case,” further clarified Khachatryan.
Artur Vanetsyan also suggested not to get obsessed with each word as the conversation was friendly, in non-literary Armenian and the wording was not official. To the question whether he indeed had talked with the judge (in the tapped conversation Vanetsyan specifies that Judge Hrach (does not mention the family name) had telephoned in awe), he said “no” and clarified that he did not recognize the judge and had never had any contact with him. He highlighted that if he attempted to influence the judges many people would no longer be in freedom.
“In a private conversation we can speak all sorts of things, boast ourselves…” said Vanetsyan.
The heads of the National Security Service and the Special Investigative Service also mentioned that they are not obsessed with their posts and are ready to resign should such a demand be presented to them by the public or their immediate supervisor, the Prime Minister of Armenia.