Prosecutor General Withdraws Protest for Markarian Verdict

YEREVAN (Golos Armenii)–Armenia’s prosecutor general Henrik Khatchatrian Tuesday withdrew a appeal filed by his predecessor Ardavazt Gevorkian protesting the shortness of the sentence given to so-called "Dro" defendant Hrant Markarian.

The famed "Dro" trial–which began in August 1995 and lasted until December 1996–was unable to prove charges of terrorism–drug trafficking against Markarian–and in the end–sentenced Markarian to a five-year prison term for possession of illegal weapons and fake travelling documen’s..

Former prosecutor general Gevorkian–ignoring the court’s final decision–petitioned the court to review its verdict and grant Markarian a stiffer sentence–only to validate the trumped up charges filed by his ministry following a highly controversial preliminary investigation.

Numerous observers–including international organizations and government representatives–have noted that defendants charged in the so-called "Dro" case were unduly harassed during the preliminary investigation–and often brutally beaten during interrogation.

An appeals court is scheduled to review all "Dro" trial-related appeals–and Khatchatrian’s withdrawal is also scheduled to be reviewed at that time.

"The so-called ?Dro,’ ?31′ and ?Sept. 25′ are unnecessarily delayed–and often some of the charges seem to be fabricated," stated Khatchatrian during a meeting Thursday with defense attorneys of theses cases.

Khatchatrian promised to review the cases and correct any illegalities which have occurred.

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