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Seda Ghukasyan

Armenian Parliament Speaker Says Army Deserters Must be Prosecuted

Armenian National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan told journalists today that those soldiers who were captured by Azerbaijani troops during the November 16 border clash should be criminally prosecuted if they deserted their posts.

On December 5, Armenian Defense Ministry reported that six servicemen were killed, thirteen captured and eighteen unaccounted for.

"There are many heroic boys in the army, but there are also soldiers and officers who did not fulfill their duties and found themselves in captivity," Simonyan said.

Simonyan, in a secretly filmed video that has appeared on social networks, talks to citizens abroad about the issue of captives.

"I'm sorry, I may be saying something wrong, but I think those prisoners are gone. Do you know who those captives are, the people who laid down their arms and fled? I cannot say this out loud, "he said in the video.

Speaking about the video, Simonyan first said that it was edited, then added that he was not aware that he had been videotaped. A girl introduced herself as a supporter, and when she picked up the phone during questions, she assured Simoyan that she was not filming.A

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