Saturday, 22 September

I don't know Ashot Manucharyan

On September 17, 2004 Vrezh Osipyan, who had been identified by Ashot Manucharyan as one of his attackers, and whose picture had been published by Hetq Online and the newspaper Aravot, visited Aravot's editorial office. Osipyan said that he had been in Moscow and two days ago had received a call saying his that his picture was in the papers. He took the first available flight home.

Osipyan says he doesn't know Ashot Manucharyan and had nothing to do with the April 22, 2004 attack. The following is an excerpt from his conversation with Edik Baghdasaryan.

E.B. - Why have you come to the editorial office?

V.O. - I have come to say that I don't have any connection to this case at all. I don't even want to hear about it. My picture was printed in Aravot. I took Flight #515 and arrived at 3 o'clock in the morning to find out why you printed my picture, why you're giving me a bad name in this city.

E.B. - Were you in Yerevan on April 22, 2004?

V.O. - Yes, I was.

E.B. - Are there people who can say where were you at the time of the assault?

V.O. - They can't say the time. Generally, at 1 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 11 o'clock I go to train, and then I go home.

E.B. - Ashot Manucharyan says you were one of the attackers.

V.O. - Ashot Manucharyan is very wrong. Very wrong. I'm ready to bring people from every single agency, every decent agency, to investigate me and see that it wasn't me. I have no connection to his affairs at all, no connection to political affairs at all.

E.B. - But you were there on April 5 th . He recognized you. Do you know what this photograph is? It was taken during the violence against journalists at the April 5 th rally.

V.O. - Are you talking about the rally picture? It was a chance photograph. I went up to the guys to say hello, I saw there was some unpleasantness and so on, and I left. I only stood there for ten minutes.

E.B. - We'll just print what you've said. We're not the ones to say whether you are guilty or not. It's up to the court to decide; you'll probably be called in by the investigators.

V.O. - No problem, I'm ready. I'm ready, in order to clear my name. I came here specifically to clarify this issue. I live in Yerevan; they can call me whenever they want.

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