ArmInfo.The Supreme Judicial Council decided to terminate the powers of chairman of Supreme Judicial Council, (SJC) Ruben Vardazaryan. Previously, these powers were suspended. The corresponding decision was made public today by the Supreme Court of Justice.
Acting Chairman of the SJC Gagik Jhangiryan, reading out the decision, noted that it was final and was adopted on June 16.
Members of the SJC Grigor Bekmezyan, David Khachaturyan and Liparit Melikjanyan filed an application to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Vardazaryan. Vardazaryan's interview with one of the Armenian media is the basis for initiating disciplinary proceedings. In this interview, Vardazaryan touched upon the issue of the constitutionality of the decision related to the application for the election of Gagik Jhangiryan as a member of the SJC due to the age requirement, noting that this violates the principle of judicial neutrality.
Vardazaryan's lawyer Aram Orbelyan, referring to the issue of initiating disciplinary proceedings against his client, noted that the council hastened to schedule a disciplinary session and committed violations. Vardazaryan and Orbelyan insisted that the initiation of disciplinary proceedings was politically motivated. The goal is to remove Vardazaryan from the post of Chairman of the SJC.
It is noteworthy that earlier MP from the "Armenia" opposition faction, lawyer Aram Vardevanyan, referring to the scandalous recording of the conversation between Jhangiryan and the dismissed head of the Supreme Judicial Council Ruben Vardazaryan, published on June 20, noted that the Acting Head of the Supreme Judicial Council Gagik Jhangiryan cannot participate in the consideration of disciplinary proceedings in relation to Ruben Vardazaryan, including in terms of the decision.
"Firstly, a criminal case should be initiated against Gagik Jhangiryan. Secondly, Gagik Jhangiryan cannot participate in the consideration of disciplinary proceedings against Ruben Vardazaryan, including in terms of making a decision. Considering the first circumstance, Jhangiryan's powers must inevitably be suspended, it will apply to all proceedings," Vardevanyan said. It should be noted that on June 20, temporarily dismissed Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Ruben Vardazaryan published a scandalous recording of a conversation with Acting Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Gagik Jhangiryan and a member of the Supreme Judicial Council Stepan Mikayelyan, which took place on February 20, 2021. In this conversation, Jhangiryan persuades Vardazaryan to leave his post, while asking him to do it "for good, quietly and peacefully." He advises to think about the future of children, family and assures that if he leaves, then all criminal cases initiated against him will be terminated. "I guarantee you this as long as I'm alive," Jhangiryan said, according to the recording.
Following the release of the recording, the Prosecutor General's Office announced that it had sent the recording of a conversation between Gagik Jhangiryan, member of the SJC, Stepan Mikayelyan, and Ruben Vardazaryan, to the Investigative Committee. To recall, Gagik Jhangiryan was appointed Acting Chairman of the SJC at a closed meeting on April 15, 2021.