Personally attending the board meeting of the Police, President Sargsyan instructed the chief of police to start arrests inside the system, referring to the internal security system and noting that he cannot remember a case of arrest based on proceedings by this service.
This detail is interesting for two reasons. First, according to recent rumors Serzh Sargsyan is going to grant pardon to 2 convicted and sentenced high-ranking officials Hovhannes Tamamyan and Margar Ohanyan. In fact, this pardon would be strange considering the statement he made in this board meeting. You cannot state that the internal security service does not function well and a lot of crimes are not punished and, on the other hand, release two ex-high-ranking officials who were punished for the crimes they committed.
In this context, Serzh Sargsyan’s statement must have a different expression. Very few doubt that Hovhannes Tamamyan and Margar Ohanyan committed their crimes alone, without the knowledge and support of those overhead. Hence, Serzh Sargsyan’s statement may be an instruction to reveal those overhead. For instance, Margar Ohanyan stole police car pool fuel of several hundred millions. Was the ex-chief of police Alik Sargsyan unaware? The internal security service of the Police can investigate this case to share responsibility equally. The same goes for Hovhannes Tamamyan.
The second detail is also interesting. In fact, Serzh Sargsyan gives Vova Gasparyan freedom to act and makes this known to public. No doubt soon Vova Gasparyan will arrest some people inside the system based on the result of activities of the “internal security system”.
The issue is the principle of arrests.
Will persons or groups be arrested for actions harming the nation and public or the government and Serzh Sargsyan? No doubt, as soon as the arrest is in place, the explanation will be harm to the nation and public. However, judging by the quality and content of the police of Armenia the majority of the ruling system will be arrested. And this is hardly possible.
So what real motives will be used for arrests?
Interestingly, Serzh Sargsyan gives such blunt and bold instructions a few months before the presidential election while the police is one of the key links in the chain that ensures the reproduction of the government. It means that internal stability of the police becomes highly important. But when the president instructs arrests, the police may panic because nobody knows who will be the next.
Or maybe they know? Maybe everyone knows. In other words, Serzh Sargsyan’s order may intend to relieve the system of uncontrollable people or groups to crystallize the police before the presidential election. At the same time, the revelations of the police may be used for the electoral campaign presenting them as practical steps against corruption and police arbitrariness.
But just like the police, the society also knows a lot. Most importantly, the society knows that the operation of the police depends on the performance of the leadership. Corruption and crime at lower levels indicate their larger scope at higher levels. So, Serzh Sargsyan’s order will have a public or national value only if the international security service reveals crimes by the police leadership, not the lower ranks.