On November 29 the State Fire Service of the RA Department of Emergencies provided “Haikakan Zhamanak” daily with a final expert assessment of the reasons why the car owned by the newspaper and used by the Chief Editor Nikol Pashinian went on fire. As it has been reported, the fire occurred on the evening of November 22 and by the preliminary assessment of the experts was caused by a malfunction of the battery wires in the car. Meanwhile, Nikol Pashinian qualified the incident as intentional, directed against him personally and suggested that a well-known businessman and RA National Assembly deputy Gagik Tsarukian was involved in it (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, November 19-25, 2004).
On November 30 “Haikakan Zhamanak” published extracts from the expert assessment above. According to the document, the experts had considered two reasons for the ignition, an electrotechnical malfunction and outside intervention, and arrived at the conclusion that “the probable reason for the fire was the heat impact of an open fire source in presence of flammable substances”. As to the earlier version of ignition due to battery wire malfunction, in the opinion of experts, it is of little probability.
Thus, the supposition of self-ignition of the car is actually rejected. At the same time, “Haikakan Zhamanak” believes there are certain deficiencies in the assessment: the phrasings are obscure, the mechanism of the ignition is not explained. For this reason the representative of the editorial office refused to sign the document.
The assessment of the Fire Service is sent to an appropriate investigation body which is now to decide whether criminal proceedings will be instituted.