“31” Case Concocted By Imagination Says Defense

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The lawyer of defendant Manvel Yeghiazarian–Gayaneh Antonian–described the "Trial of 31" case as "a result of morbid imagination."

According to her–the "evidence" by the investigation agencies is groundless and doubtful–and none of it is convincing. The attorney said the self-accusations allegedly voiced by her client on July 29–1995 could not be possibly used as evidence–since Yeghiazarian was suffering from lung disease at the moment of being arrested–so he could not have given such evidence. This can be proven by the fact that the commander of the "Arabo" detachment–defendant Yeghiazarian was under treatment at a prison hospital from August 1 to August 28.

According to the lawyer–there were no legal grounds for her client’s arrest. She described the actions of the soldiers participating in the arrest as a provocation aimed at presenting such actions as "apprehension of a criminal group." According to Antonian–there is no corpus delicti in the charges on count 209–subsection (attempt on a policeman’s life) brought against Yeghiazarian. Those who participated in Yeghiazarian’s arrest were soldiers (some of them had black masks on their faces)–hence–in the lawyer’s opinion–they could not have been accomplices to the a crime.

According to Antonian–the skirmish broke out only after policemen had opened fire. He drew the attention of the Judicial Board to the fact that the actions of the policemen were not aimed at maintaining public order–but–on the contrary–to put at risk the lives of members of Yeghiazarian’s family as well as his neighbors.

Antonian asked that Yeghiazarian be found not guilty on all counts except for count 232 (illegal arms possession)–however the punishment on that count should be considered to have been served–since the term the defendant has spent in prison so far is quite sufficient for that.

Attorney Marina Galabian called nonsense the charges brought against Karen Azarapeti Karapetian–a citizen of Turkmen’stan–suggesting that he had committed a high treason against Armenia.

According to the lawyer–the charges seemed to be absurd–as the defendant has no registration in Armenia and–therefore–has no permanent residence here.

According to Galabian–the charges by the investigative agencies are so groundless that even the State Prosecutor refused to second them–so he just requalified them.

The lawyer petitioned that Karapetian be found not guilty on the charges he was facing. As to the count 205–part 1 (harboring a crime)–attorney requested the court to take into consideration the amount of time served by the defendant until now as sufficient punishment.

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