Interfax, Russia
Oct 11 2012

Armenian deputy speaker objects to U.S. ambassador's criticism of
ex-minister's indictment


Armenian deputy parliamentary speaker and spokesman for the ruling
Republican Party Eduard Sharmazanov disagrees with U.S. Ambassador to
Armenia John Heffern's opinion about the prosecution of former
Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian.

Heffern said in a statement on Wednesday that money laundering charges
brought against Oskanian "represent the selective application of
Armenian law" and are "bad for justice and democracy in Armenia."

"Naturally I do not share the distinguished U.S. ambassador's opinion
that this is selective application of justice, because this is a
purely legal issue. Just as it was in the past, our opinion is that
this is a legal issue and its politicization is unacceptable,"
Sharmazanov said in an interview with the Armenian service of Radio

Heffern also described as "troubling" the timing of Oskanian's
prosecution "in relation to the election schedule," implying
presidential elections scheduled for February 2013.

"We urge the Government of Armenia to live up to its commitments to
the systematic, fair and transparent implementation of the rule of
law," he said.

Sharmazanov said in commenting on this: "Tying any legal proceedings
in Armenia to elections is unacceptable and far from reality. I think
ambassadors should refrain from politicizing legal issues in Armenia.
It is unacceptable to politicize this issue, because members of the
Republican Party are also figuring in various criminal cases. The
authorities are combating bad deeds rather than individuals.
Politicization of this issue is inappropriate," he said.

Sharmazanov presumed that lack of information could have prompted the
U.S. diplomat to make the above-mentioned remarks.

The Armenian National Security Service's investigative department
officially indicted Oskanian for misappropriation and legalization of
illegal proceeds on October 8.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress