National Assembly Adopts General Pardon Law

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia’s National Assembly–during an executive session Wednesday–passed a law on general pardon of prisoners–by which more than 4,500 prisoners would be eligible for release or a lesser sentence.

Armenia’s Justice Minister Marat Aleksanian–representing Levon Ter-Petrosyan at the parliamentary session–announced during a news briefing that the bill passed by a vote of 170 in favor–two opposed and two abstentions.

He outlined that the law would immediately effect 850 prisoners–while the remaining prisoner cases would be re-investigated and either a release or a lower sentence would be given to those individuals.

Aleksanian further explained that the law would not apply to individuals currently imprisoned for the so-called "Dro" or "Trial of 31" since mass disorder has traditionally been deemed a more severe crime.

Aleksanian said that "Dro" defendants Hrant Markarian and Gegham Manoukian would not be effected by the new law reiterating the same argument presented for the "Dro" and "Trial of 31" cases.

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