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Interpol Said To Have Rejected Armenia's Bid To Put Former Chief Prosecutor On Wanted List

Armenia's former Prosecutor-General Gevork Kostanian (file photo)
Armenia's former Prosecutor-General Gevork Kostanian (file photo)

Armenian authorities say the search for a former prosecutor-general wanted on criminal charges continues after a document unveiled by a lawmaker suggested that Interpol has refused to put him on the international wanted list.

The lawmaker, Taguhi Tovmasian, said on March 16 that Interpol refused to start an international search for Gevork Kostanian because it found the case against him to be an instance of political persecution.

Lawmaker Taguhi Tovmasian
Lawmaker Taguhi Tovmasian

The Prosecutor-General’s Office did not deny the existence of the document but accused Tovmasian of distorting the facts to try to create a scandal.

It also said that Kostanian, who is facing charges related to a 2008 postelection crackdown on the opposition, is still on the country’s wanted list.

The former prosecutor-general has been wanted by Armenian authorities since late 2019. He denies the accusations against him and says they are politically motivated.

Tovmasian is one of several lawmakers who quit the ruling My Step parliamentary faction late last year after Armenians suffered a defeat in the war against Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. She showed the document during a news briefing at the National Assembly. She did not say how she obtained it.

“To put it simply, the international criminal police, Interpol, believe that Armenia’s Prosecutor[-General]’s Office and Special Investigative Service have fabricated an essentially unfounded case,” she said.

In a statement, the Prosecutor-General’s Office claimed that Interpol does not study circumstances of cases and factual data and has no authority to assess the validity or legitimacy of charges.

Interpol “is not a body that qualifies a charge as justified or unfounded, politically, or otherwise motivated,” it said.

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