Lawyers Miss Court in &quotSeptember 25quot; Trial

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)Attorneys Marina Galabian–Anahit Yesayan and Gayane Antonian did not attend the Friday court hearing regarding the Sept. 25 riots.

The reason for their absence was that hearings of the "Trial of 31" case were held simultaneously with this trial–and the attorneys in question are also defending those who are accused in connection with the "31" case.

The trials’ head prosecutor suggested the presiding panel of judges nominated other attorneys for the case. The head prosecutor substantiated his solicitation by citing Article 236 of the Criminal and Procedural Code of Armenia which calls to ensure the immediate participation of attorneys in hearings.

Attorney Galabian noted in an interview with Noyan Tapan that it was impossible to hold daily hearings of the "September 25" trial–as there are only four courtrooms on the premises of the Supreme Court.

According to her–that was the reason why the hearings of the "Dro" and "31" trials were alternated.

Hence–in her opinion–the intention of the judge to hold the hearings of this case simultaneously with the hearings of the "31" case do not arise from an objective necessity. Perhaps–as Galabian noted– the situation was created so that the three attorneys would be unable to attend the "September 25" trial. Galabian didn’t exclude that there might be other reasons.

Defendants Massoyan–Kivirian and Meghavorian insisted upon the above-mentioned attorneys to defend them. Massoyan threatened to go on a hunger strike if his wishes were not respected.

Judge Ghukasian postponed the court session until Wednesday–saying that if the attorneys did not appear–the defendants should choose new representation. The session was attended by members of the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe.

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