YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The Armenian authorities have strongly denied media claims that they will use repressive methods and even blackmail in a bid to force the chairman and other members of Armenia’s Constitutional Court to resign.
Citing an unnamed government source, Hraparak daily said late last week that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has given the heads of Armenia’s law-enforcement agencies one week to ensure those resignations. It claimed that at a “secret” meeting in Yerevan Pashinyan discussed with them various ways of achieving that, including pressure on close relatives of the Constitutional Court judges.
Another newspaper critical of Pashinyan’s government, 168 Zham, alleged afterwards that the Armenian police possess secretly filmed video evidence of extramarital affairs involving two unnamed members of the court. The police will threaten to publicize that compromising material if the judges refuse to step down, claimed the paper.
A spokesman for Prosecutor-General Artur Davtyan flatly denied those “false reports” at the weekend, saying that they are aimed at “discrediting” the country’s top law-enforcement officials.
“I find it necessary to inform that there was no such meeting, especially with such an agenda and especially with the participation of Armenia’s prosecutor-general,” Gor Abrahamyan wrote on Facebook.
Ararat Mirzoyan, the Armenian parliament speaker and a close associate of Pashinyan, shrugged off the allegations on Monday. “I don’t have time to comment on any fictitious theories,” he said.