Notes From Hairenik

In what I believe is an unprecedented action, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia voted 56 to 22 in favor of lifting the immunity from prosecution of a parliament member who is to be officially charged for assault as well as evading tax payment to authorities. Hakob Hakobyan, the thug in question, is a big businessman who owns several natural gas stations which refuel many passenger cars as well as buses. Apparently his natural gas in-flows were cut off for some reason by the ARG, a state-operated company whose facilities are protected by President Kocharian’s secret service officers who are also Karate black-belt holders it seems. He went to the main distribution facility to figure out why his gas supplies were being suspended, then he and his boys ended up getting into a group brawl with the President’s secret service guards. Hakobyan was arrested on the spot and detained for three days. Incidentally, he is best known by his nickname, “Choyt,” the meaning of which is unclear to me and I would argue to most people on the street. It might have a Russian language connotation or something, I have no idea. But this whole scenario to me sounds like the makings of a soap opera.

The interesting thing is that under Armenian law, all government officials are immune from prosecution for any misdeed, which is convenient since so many of them are lawbreakers, conducting illegal business practices and so forth. Aghvan Hovsepyan, the Proscetutor-General, made his case last Friday to the National Assembly on the grounds for charging Hakobyan. The thug happens to be a member of the Republican Party of Armenia, headed by prominent figures such as Prime Minister Antranig Markarian and National Assembly leader Tigran Torosian, who by the way may be the party’s sole intellectual, although he has a wimpy voice and is thus mocked by the public.

Anyway, looks like this guy is being made an example of the basic foolishness people in government get away with, primarily because they own large-scale businesses and are connected with other public servants in one way or another who do the same. The Republican Party has recently been accused, mainly by prominent opposition leaders, to be composed of “criminal elements,” a vague term which has no clear definition unsurprisingly. It seems they want to set an example that they’re not bad boys, and they’re using one of their own members as a scapegoat, a presumably guilty one at that. A very interesting turn of events.

You can read more about this here and here.