This morning an approximately 6 hour long search was carried out at Yerevan.Today’s news website editorial office. The employees of the 6th Police Department and Investigative Committee checked all the computers in the editorial office to find out what the news outlet had to do with the wiretapping and dissemination of the telephone conversation between NSS Director Arthur Vanetsyan and SIS Head Sasun Khachatryan.
According to the Investigative Committee, the search was carried out within the framework of a criminal case filed by Vanetsian and Khachatryan for violating the confidentiality of the telephone conversation, recording and dissemination.
The law enforcement officers searched for wiretapping devices, as well as checked the computers, trying to find out how Yerevan.Today received the published link to the YouTube video of the telephone conversation between Sasun Khachatryan, the head of the National Security Service (NSS), and head of the SIS, Arthur Vanetsyan, as they received information that the website was the first to put the wiretapped phone conversation on their website, on September 5.
The site’s editorial office denied this information. “We inform you that we have been informed about the recording at random, on September 11 at around 14:00, at exactly the same time that our other colleagues and internet users,” Yerevan.Today said in a statement.
Editor and Chief of the website, Sevak Hakobyan, told reporters that the information that Yerevan.Today was the first to publish the recording of the phone conversation between Arthur Vanetsyan and Sasun Khachatryan was due to a mistake by Google. He noted that similarly,the publication information about the press conference with the NSS Director and SIS Head is seen as being earlier in Yerevan.Today.
“My computer and hard drives have been confiscated. The editorial work is paralyzed, we do not know when the hard drives and computers will be returned,” said Hakobyan.
According to the Investigative Committee, the search conducted in the editorial office had nothing to do with journalistic activities, but was exclusively aimed at ensuring that a comprehensive, objective and complete investigation of the criminal case was conducted, to verify the preliminary findings of the criminal case, to clarify the method of recording and spreading the telephone conversations of two law enforcement officials and a number of essential circumstances.”
“One computer processor, and 3 memory drives were confiscated during a search conducted at the news site’s editorial office, as per court order to be given to technical expertise to determine the relevance to the case,” reads the statement.