DRUNKEN MINISTER OF CULTURE OF ARMENIA BEATS UP ELECTRICIANS
Jan 4 2006
Armenian Minister of Culture Hovik Hoveyan today, on January 4,
together with his son broke into the building of the "South" branch
of CJSC "Armenian power distribution networks", drew a pistol on
the electricians working there and struck some of them on the head
with the pistol grip, a REGNUM correspondent was told by an unnamed
eyewitness who happened to be there, wishing to find out why he had had
electricity switched off in his apartment. It appeared that minister
Hoveyan had the same purpose.
The REGNUM correspondent was told at the district power distribution
network office that electricity at the apartment of the culture
minister at the address Meshropa Mashtotsa Ave. had been switched
off due to a power cable failure. The minister, his son and several
of their acquaintances immediately went to the district dispatcher
office and beat up the electricians who were present there, though
the latter were trying to explain that a repair crew and a special
mobile laboratory had been called out to investigate the reason for
the failure. Refusing to accept the explanations, minister Hoveyan
and his "team" went to the building of the "South" branch of CJSC
"Armenian power distribution networks" and raised a drunken row.
Later, Hoveyan left the scene of the incident, while the wounded
electricians went on restoring power supply for his apartment.
It should be noted that Hoveyan is a member of the "Orinats
Erkir" (OE) party, headed by Armenian parliamentary speaker Artur
Bagdasaryan. Following the parliamentary elections, the "Orinats Erkir"
party joined the ruling coalition, getting several ministerial posts,
including that of the culture minister. Hovik Hoveyan is already a
second minister of culture from the OE party. In May 2004, he replaced
another member of his party, Tamara Pogosyan.
ARMENIA: MINISTER 'ATTACKED WORKERS' OVER POWER CUT
Irish Examiner, Ireland
Evening Echo, Ireland
Jan 4 2006
Armenia's culture minister attacked and pistol-whipped two utility
workers today after electricity was cut off to his flat, police said.
Police were investigating Ovik Oveyan, but no arrests had been made
as of this evening, police spokesman Sayat Shirinyan said.
According to a prosecuting official, Mr Oveyan called officials at
the Armenian Electric Network sometime before noon when a problem with
an electric cable shut off power to his apartment. The official asked
to remain unnamed since he was not authorised to speak to the media.
After arguing with an official, Mr Oveyan, his son and several friends
drove to the network's offices and with a pistol attacked at least two
officials, who later had to seek medical treatment for head wounds,
the official said.
Power was later restored to the flat.
Mr Oveyan could not be immediately located for comment.
The political scene is tense and occasionally violent in Armenia. In
1999, the country was shocked by an attack in which gunmen burst into
parliament and killed the prime minister, parliament speaker and six
other officials and politicians.
In September, the mayor of a small Armenian town was arrested after
he was accused of shooting and killing the head of a local electricity
plant. The mayor was later re-elected despite being jailed.