More Testimony at “Sept. 25″ Trial

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a court hearing for the "September 25" case–defendants Onik Hunanian–Seryozha Melkonian and Vahe Varsanian claimed that they had been falsely arrested and charged with committing mass disturbances because of their political views.

Hunanian said that on September 25–1996–he was watching the events from the Parliament building on the opposite side of the street.

According to Melkonian–he came to the Parliament building to find his son–who is in the military. He found himself on the territory of the National Assembly along with "a large crowd of people," but he didn’t move any closer.

However–the victim–Parliament Speaker Ara Sahakian–said that he had seen Melkonian at the Parliament Speaker’s cabinet.

Varsanian said that on September 25 he entered the territory of the National Assembly through an open gate and headed for the Central Electoral Committee. As a member of the Yerevan Regional Electoral Committee–he intended to present to CEC leaders numerous facts of breaches in law during the election. When he met Vazgen Manoukian at the entrance to the CEC building–he left the National Assembly grounds with him.

Varsanian said he believed that a provocation was organized on September 25–and the proceedings instituted in connection with the September 25 events were not criminal but political in nature.

Melkonian’s testimony concerning the unlawful methods used in questioning him were continually interrupted by Judge Martin Karapetian–who said that the defendant could testify about that provided a separate investigation into that matter was launched.

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