Prosecution Wants Seven Years for Hovanessian

YEREVAN (Yerevan News Agency)–The "Trial of 31" after a lengthy break in proceedings–resumed at the Armenian Supreme Court on Thursday.

Immediately at the beginning of the session–state-prosecutor Charkhifalakian began his closing argumen’s–recounting charges brought against the defendants. In an exaggerated manner–the prosecutor described the charges as the betrayal of the homeland–as well as the overthrow of the government by force. He later added charges of terrorist activities to the list.

The official later went on to request–what he called the justified sentences for the defendants. Specifically–he demanded seven years of imprisonment for Vahan Hovanessian–eight years for Manvel Yeghiazarian–five years for Armen Rostomian–seven years for Ashot Avetissian.

Based on the same charges–in addition to the murder charges of two police officers–the prosecution asked for nine years in the case of Gagik Karapetian–ten years in the case of Arthur Ghazarian–nine yeas for Gnel Hovanisian and finally the death penalty for Tigran Vardges Avetissian charges. The audience in the court room vocally protested the requests–while family members struggled to refrain from crying. At the same time–a large demonstration was conducted outside the Supreme Court building. The next session of the trial–during which the defense attorneys will deliver their closing argumen’s–was scheduled for Monday.

According to reports from Yerevan–defense attorneys Bagrat Yesayan and Vova Hakhverdian visited Hovanessian and Yeghiazarian Tuesday–and found both individuals in extremely poor physical health. Hovanessian’s walk–according to Hakhverdian was troublesome and both were weak.

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