January 15, 2020 - 17:20 AMT
Armenia PM summoned for questioning over wiretapping scandal

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was summoned to the Investigative Committee on Wednesday, January 15 within the case of the wiretapping of telephone conversations between the former director of the National Security Service Artur Vanetsyan and the head of the Special Investigation Service Sasun Khachatryan, and between Vanetsyan and Pashinyan.

A wiretapped phone conversation between Vanetsyan and Pashinyan landed online on December 5, 2018. The two appeared to be discussing individuals tied to the March 1, 2008 post-election crackdown, during which eight civilians and two police officers were killed after a standoff with security officials.

A recording of a conversation Vanetsyan had with Khachatryan was leaked on social media and went viral earlier in September 2018. The conversation, the authenticity of which was confirmed by both, centered on the same issue.

The Investigative Committee revealed in a statement that the interrogation lasted 2 hours 35 minutes.

Moreover, the Committee says the criminal case is looking into "obvious signs of abuse of power and interference" in the work of judges who considered applications for the arrest of former President Robert Kocharyan and the former commander of the Yerevan garrison Yuri Khachaturov in the March 1 case.

Pashinyan was questioned as a witness in order to clarify the circumstances of possible pressure on judges.

The PM was the first to break the new of his questioning.

“For the first time in the history of Armenia, the incumbent leader of the country has arrived at the Investigative Committee and is answering questions at the Investigator's Office,” Pashinyan said sharing a selfie on social media.