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Kristine Aghalaryan

Argishti Kiviryan Makes Startling Revelations to the Press

Exactly one year ago today, an attempt was made on the life of Argishti Kiviryan, a reporter, attorney, and coordinator of the "ARMENIA Today" and "BAGIN" news websites. He believes the sole reason for the attack was his work as a journalist. "I have always written stinging articles, or should I say the truth, about the Akhalkalak Police Chief in the "ARMENIA Today" and"BAGIN" news centers. And in the case that two days before the two attempted murders those two individuals went to Akhalkalak and met with Samvel Petrosyan, well, the link is plain to see," stated Argishti Kiviryan today at a press conference where he presented the results of his own personal investigation of the matter. How did A. Kiviryan find this link? Two individuals were arrested in the case, Vladik Serobyan and Gurgen Kilikyan. There was a face to face with one of the two mentioned, whom he recognized and pointed to as one of the participants in the first assault. At the beginning of March, the pre-trial examining body made a motion to lengthen the detention of the individuals, but a short time later it withdrew the motion and on March 8, the individuals mentioned were released and remain free today. According to information in the possession of Argishti Kiviryan, the father of Gurgen Garegin Kilikyan was arrested in Georgia, in February 2009, on bribe giving and document forgery charges. He forged some five false passports for Iraqi-Armenians and brought them to Georgia. Vladik Serobyan is a relative of Akhalkalak Police Chief Samvel Petrosyan. According to Argishti Kiviryan, this assault was the second. The first occurred on April 20, in the courtyard of his office at around six in the morning. "When I left the office to go home I opened the door and saw three individuals dressed in sport attire with truncheons. It was just by accident that I hadn’t closed the outer door to the office behind me. When I saw them approaching me I went back inside and shut the door," recounted A. Kiviryan. According to verified information obtained by Kiviryan, one or two days prior to the two incidents, these individuals traveled to Akhalkalak and met with Samvel Petrosyan. "Ever since his appointment as Akhalkalak Police Chief, Samvel Petrosyan has for years been engaged in demolishing all Armenian structures in Akhalkalak. It has been constantly noted in the Armenian press that the Georgian authorities are carrying out various searches in Javakhk, and this is true. But these searches and harassment are being conducted by this individual." He pointed out that it was due to the work of the Police Chief that "United Javakhk" activist Vahagn Chakhalyan is today behind bars and that Gurgen Shirinyan is on the run and that many young people have been forced to flee Javakhk. Prior to the assaults, A. Kiviryan never received threats from the Police Chief but, as Kiviryan says, he always heard reports that the Police Chief had been making threats behind his back. Mr. Kiviryan believes that a after some time passes the criminal case will "be dropped and the file will wind up in some office drawer", despite the fact that the presidential spokesperson has declared that the president is closely monitoring the case. "If the case is being closely monitored, would they go and release these two individuals," asks Kiviryan, adding, "Until the time when the state prosecutor doesn’t take the case file under his arm and run up Baghramyan Avenue and once there, come to some agreement, then no other verdict can be expected." He stressed that from the start the RoA Police were more interested in covering up the matter than breaking the case, and pointed to the bullets photographed by photo-journalist Gagik Shamshyan; bullet casings that later disappeared from the crime site. "I have never interfered in the investigation in any way. Furthermore, I have never made any statement of clarification so that it could never be argued later that I hindered the investigation," stated Mr. Kiviryan. He has seen some movement in the investigative process within the National Security Service. However, he is now convinced that given the present authorities in power, the real nature of his case will never come to light. In reply to the question, "Can the Akhalkalak Police Chief in fact exert that much pressure for them to close the case here in Armenia?" Mr. Kiviryan answered, "I cannot say who has what power. Sadly, a situation has taken hold in the RoA when crimes committed against reporters or editors go unsolved. Even what is revealed isn’t revealed. Photo: Gagik Shamshyan