Witness subjected to physical duress

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan) — At Thursday’s court session in connection with the "Trial of 31" case– witness Artashes Dovlatian reported that–during the night of the murders of the policemen–he heard three single shots and sounds of a discharged flare–which came from the forest side. He also said that he did not see police cars at the site of the incident.

Witness Alexander Varpetian testified that he heard some people arguing and gun shots and saw "a track left by a tracer bullet." He noted that after the incident–all cars–including a police car–left the site. He said that a police car arrived at the building of the police precinct of the Mashtots district in 20-25 minutes.

According to Varpetian–a survivor of the incident–policeman Arsen Petrossian–left wounded officer Hunanian in a poor condition–thus contradicting Petrossian’s testimony that he helped take his wounded colleague to the hospital. Varpetian also said that at the site of the incident he heard witnesses talk about the gun that was found in the hands of the murdered police officer Khachatrian.

Witness Zaven Karapetian–father of defendants Gagik and Martin Karapetian–said during Wednesday’s hearing that he considered himself to be a victim.

Karapetian said that he–his son and his pregnant daughter-in-law had been subjected to physical and psychological pressure at the police precinct of the Mashtots district. As a result–his son was handicapped–while his daughter-in-law went into pre-mature labor.

Witness Alexan Karapetian recanted his preliminary testimony regarding alleged coup attempt and terrorist acts. Karapetian was twice questioned as a witness–once as a suspect–twice as a defendant. However–only during the last interrogation he "confessed" to plotting a coup and terrorist acts.

He said that he had been tortured on five different occasions and forced to sign a confession. He said that he had been tortured by members of the so-called "Alfa" group–which threatened to throw him out of the window–subject him to electric shock and exert physical pressure on his wife and daughter.

Investigators said that Alexan Karapetian had to be kept in custody before Karapet Kazarian and Ashot Avetissian were arrested. Karapetian was held in custody at a National Security Ministry detention facility for two months and two days.

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