YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia’s Prosecutor-General Gevorg Kostanian unexpectedly stepped down on Thursday, citing health reasons.
Kostanian’s press secretary, Kristine Melkonian, said he informed other senior prosecutors about the resignation at a meeting held at the Office of the Prosecutor-General in Yerevan. She said Kostanian told them that he decided to quit “because of health problems” and that President Serzh Sargsyanhas accepted his resignation.
In a Facebook post, Melkonian did not specify those problems.
Sargsyan’s spokesman, Vladimir Hakobian, confirmed the surprise move. “I am confident that after Mr. Kostanian’s health problems are solved, his capabilities will again be used for addressing state issues,” he told 168.am.
Kostanian became prosecutor-general at the age of 35 almost three years ago. His candidacy for the post was nominated by Sargsyan and approved by the Armenian parliament.
Kostanian had previously served as Armenia’s chief military prosecutor, a deputy minister of justice and a legal assistant to Sargsyan. He has reportedly had a frosty relationship with the previous prosecutor-general, Aghvan Hovsepian. The latter now runs another law-enforcement agency, the Investigative Committee.
Kostanian’s resignation was announced four days after the end of a deadly standoff between Armenian security forces and opposition gunmen that seized a police station in Yerevan on July 17. A total of 47 persons, including all 31 members of the armed group, have been arrested in connection with the armed attack that resulted in the deaths of two police officers.
About two dozen other individuals, among them several opposition politicians, are also under arrest, facing controversial charges stemming from demonstrations held in support of the gunmen. One of those rallies was broken up by riot police on Friday.