Defendant Says They Did Not Intend to Attack Parliament

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)During the Wednesday regular hearing of the "Sept. 25" case– defendant Vahe Beknazarian denied his preliminary testimony that there was intention to storm the building of the National Assembly.

He said that during the preliminary investigation "he wrote what investigators wanted." According to the defendant–95 percent of the charges brought against him and the others charged in the case were not true.

Beknazarian particularly noted that Vazgen Manoukian had told those present at the Head Office of the National Democratic Union that there had been two options: to storm the Parliament building or hold talks. He also said that those present decided on the latter. The defendant refused to explain why he had given false evidence–noting only that he had "serious reasons" for that.

Beknazarian said that on September 25–1996–when a delegation led by Manoukian went to the Central Electoral Commission situated at the Parliament building–he and Manoukian’s other bodyguards–stayed at the identity card check point. They received two messages saying that talks were under way. A while later–noticing that the situation was becoming heated and the people were shaking loose the iron fence of the Parliament building–Beknazarian went to the Opera House. Some twenty minutes later– he changed his mind–and upon returning to the place he saw that the gate was crushed.

Beknazarian said that he thought he was obliged to explain what had happened to Manoukian–so he made his way to the CEC. Some time later Manoukian turned up–and they together went to the US Embassy–and then to Liberty Square. They then returned to the NDU Office.

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