Five Suspects Released in Armenian ‘Terror’ Probe

Security forces detain a woman in a raid on a house in Yerevan's Nork district on Nov. 25, 2015. (Source: RFE/RL)
Security forces detain a woman in a raid on a house in Yerevan's Nork district on Nov. 25, 2015. (Source: RFE/RL)

Security forces detain a woman in a raid on a house in Yerevan’s Nork district on Nov. 25, 2015. (Source: RFE/RL)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Five individuals charged in an ongoing investigation into what Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) calls a plot to kill senior states officials were released from pre-trial custody on Monday.

A Yerevan court ordered the release of the suspects, among them three women, pending the investigation after a corresponding petition submitted by the NSS. The latter made no public statements in connection with the move.

The freed individuals include Lilit Torosian, a journalist with the Armenian Catholic station Radio Mariam based in Gyumri. She was detained last month along with Father Anton Totonjian, a 70-year-old Catholic priest who ran the station.

Both Torosian and Totonjian deny the NSS allegations that they aided a militant group that was neutralized by Armenian security forces in a November 25 raid on its hideout in Yerevan. A group of dozen people, including the alleged ringleader Artur Kocharian, were detained in that raid.

The NSS made more arrests in the following weeks. The security agency refuses to publicize the total number of individuals charged or held in detention as part of the probe. Nor has it given so far details of the alleged terror plot.

Lawyers for the released suspects said the NSS has not dropped the accusations levelled against their clients. The latter deny those charges.

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