Wednesday, 26 September

Not even National Security can stand up to Gagik Tsarukyan's bodyguard



November 5, 2004 was a historic day for the officers of the National Security Service: their boss, Karlos Petrosyan was dismissed from office "at his request".

"That day, a deplorable and shameful event occurred. We were not able to defend the honor of a fellow officer. For me, it was the death of our institution," said one NSS officer, whose name we cannot make public, for obvious reasons.

What happened on November 5th?

NSS officer Ararat Petrosyan was driving his Lada from Nor Nork toward the city center, with his wife and son in the car. Petrosyan's father-in-law, Hrach Utukyan, was following in his car. A Jeep Range Rover, accompanied by a Chevrolet, was driving at high speed down Miasnikyan Avenue (toward Water World) and suddenly attempted a U-turn from the far lane. There is no place to make a U-turn in this part of the road. There is a concrete divider running from the beginning of the road to Nork to the beginning of the Avan district, with only one spot for U-turns in this segment - near the Yerevan Zoo. In the stretch where Petrosyan and his family were driving, no one makes U-turns, or expects them. The Jeep, license plate #008SS08, hit the NSS officer's car, denting the doors. Gagik Tsarukyan's bodyguard/driver, known as "Arjuk (little bear)", got out and began shouting. As Ararat Petrosyan was examining the damage, Ardjuk hit him from behind, in the presence of his wife and child. He then hit Ararat's father-in-law, who had pulled over and was walking toward them.

Hrach Utikyan fell, striking his head on the pavement. At the point, the drivers of the jeep and the Chevrolet got into their cars and sped away.

When the other officers of the National Security Service learned about the incident, they determined to punish the bodyguards. It is a point of honor for them; no one can be allowed to raise a hand against a fellow officer.

Our source told us that the head of the department of special operations of the National Security Service, Misha Tadevosyan, informed the number one bodyguard in Armenia , Head of the President's Security Service Grigor (Grish) Sargisyan, of their intention to get permission to take action.

And since in Armenia , the institution of godfather-godson is a most important political category, and Gagik Tsaruyan is Grish's godfather, the number one bodyguard decided to close the case and told the NSS officers to settle down.

Ararat Petrosyan refused to answer our questions. It is even possible that he will refute this information after it is published, but there are other people who are willing to talk.

"Naturally, the notion of an officer's honor is alien and inconceivable to the head of the President's Security Service, Grish. You can't blame him for something he has no idea about. But we feel like weaklings after this incident," the NSS officer we spoke to said.

The Department of Information and Public Relations of the Police that informed us that traffic police had reported no accidents that day on that segment of the road.

When we asked the head of the Department of Information of the National Security Service, Artsvin Baghramyan, what action had been taken in response to the incident, he told us that they hadn't registered any such case.

The fact is that the NSS was defeated by Gagik Tsarukyan's driver/bodyguard, nicknamed Arjuk. In Armenia , not even National Security can stand up to a bodyguard.


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