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One Former Armenian Presidential Candidate Arrested In Connection With Attack On Another

Vardan Sedrakian
Vardan Sedrakian
As he had predicted, former Armenian presidential candidate Vardan Sedrakian has been taken into custody for two months in connection with the January 31 incident in which rival candidate Paruyr Hairikian was shot and injured.

Hairikian, a Soviet-era dissident who now heads the extraparliamentary Union for National Self-Determination, was shot in the shoulder late on January 31 outside his home. He was hospitalized and after some hesitation availed himself of his constitutional right to request that the election, scheduled for February 18, be postponed by two weeks, but withdrew that request within 24 hours.

On February 7, police in Yerevan arrested two unemployed men who confessed to shooting Hairikian. Investigators did not say at that juncture whether the men revealed on whose behest they carried out the attack.

Days later, Sedrakian, a hitherto little-known, self-styled expert on myths and epic poetry, told journalists he is convinced the authorities will arrest and try to frame him for the attack on the grounds that he is acquainted with the two men arrested, Khachatur Poghosian and Samvel Harutiunian. Sedrakian explained that they were among a group of construction workers who carried out work on his country house last summer.

Sedrakian's lawyer, Aleksandr SIrunian, says he has not seen any formal evidence to substantiate his client's arrest.

Hairikian for his part complained last week about the lack of progress in the investigation. "The investigators are behaving strangely," Hayrikian wrote on his Facebook page. "They identified the perpetrators, but there is no further progress."

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.


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