Former Aide to Reveal Controversial Tape

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"This trial is going to hover like a ghost for a long time–unless a fair verdict is passed in our respect," said former interior ministry aide Aram Petrossian–who stands trial–charged with embezzlement and illegal possession of arms among other things.

According to Petrossian–the ministry’s sixth department–which deals with organized crime–acted illegally in that investigations into his situation were to be conducted by the prosecutor’s office because of his high ranking within the interior ministry. Petrossian claims his status as a ministry major was concealed from the court and the prosecutor’s office–hence the violation of the law.

According to the defendant–the charges of purchasing and possessing arms brought against him were only a pretense for his arrest.

Petrossian reiterated that he had borrowed from banks by mutual consent–and therefore the charges of embezzlement does not stick–in his opinion. The terms of paying off credits were extended to May 31–1996 and registered as additional crediting–which is not considered illegal. The credits were secured with a pledge. According to the defendant–neither the five banks–nor other creditors had filed any civil suits against him up to the trial. In light of these facts–the defendant consistently disputes the charges brought against him.

If his first application to bring in new witnesses is rejected–Petrossian asked the court to consider his second application and allow him not to attend court hearings until the prosecution’s opening remarks are completed.

He warned that if there is danger for him or his family–he would present a sensational videotape recording–something he had not wanted to do to this point.

Petrossian is charged with embezzlement of large sums–Article 90–Part 4; abuses–Article 182–Part 2; illegal purchase and possession of arms–Article 232–Part 1.

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