Attorney Calls Charges Against Hovanessian False

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"All charges against Vahan Hovanessian are completely false and based on concoctions and fabrications–"Hovanessian’s public defender Bagrat Yesayan said during the Tuesday session of the "Trial of 31."

According to him–there were no grounds for his client’s arrest–since his name was not mentioned in the statemen’s of defendant Tigran Mher Avetissian and witness Lernik Matevossian which served as ground for the arrest. The lawyer strongly believes that the arrest was caused by political reasons only.

Yesayan said that the statemen’s by the National Security and the Defense Council made in 1995 were on one hand aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear before the parliamentary elections–and on the other hand at showing to the world community that Armenia combats not only the Armenian branch of the world drug trafficking organization–but also the Armenian branch of international terrorism as well. According to him none of the statemen’s was substantially supported.

According to the defender–the case against his client had to be distorted and misrepresented in order to give some form of proof those statemen’s. In particular–among those distortions the lawyer pointed out the shift of the date of Yeghiazarian’s meeting with Hovanessian that took place in 1994 to June 1995–the invention of June 29 as a date for the intended coup. According to him–the version by the investigation about the plotted assassination of Defense Minister Vazgen Sargssian aimed at committing a coup did not work either. The lawyer made it clear that Hovanessian could not have participated in the organization of such an assassination–as he did not know the latter’s whereabouts.

Moreover–the defendant was seeking to meet the minister to proceed with the ruptured talks between the authorities and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Yesayan also made a petition that criminal proceedings be instituted against the author of that political statement–"liar Jirair Libaridian."

"Armenia got rid of the evil. We will win," defendant Hovanessian exclaimed in connection with the resignation of Libaridian from his post.

The Judicial Board–which according to Hovanessian–was creating artificial tension and taking the principal witnesses under its guard–was also criticized.

Defendants who have no lawyers are to make speeches at the next hearing scheduled for Thursday.

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