Public Figures Discuss “Trial of 31″ Aftermath

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–According to the leader of the Constitutional Rights Union Hrant Khachatrian–the change of charges in the "Trial of 31" had nothing to do with the dialogue begun with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the authorities of Armenia.

Khachatrian maintained that the initial charges announced by the politically-motivated prosecution–were not only groundless–but it was virtually impossible to prove them. The CRU leader also strongly refuted reports that Vahan Hovanessian and Manuel Yeghiazarian had tried striking plea bargains with the prosecution in order to be released. He called this and reports of the two leaders exchanging small cells for bigger–more luxurious ones–completely ridiculous.

"Those who are not in custody now–should understand that it is necessary to combine efforts to overthrow the ruling clique," the public figure said.

National Assembly member Shavarsh Kocharian said that the verdicts in the case adhered to neither national law–nor to any international norm He said that "neither laws nor international obligations–assumed by our country are working here." To confirm that statement he said that "the judicial branch of the government is not independent as it fulfills orders of the leadership."

This is also a political assessment as all witnessed "another lengthy and exhausting case–during which an order had been fulfilled in violation of all legal norms."

Kocharian characterized the trial as another sign that "a tyranny is being established in Armenia. Everyone should be conscious of the fact that it’s being established not by a single person–but by the entire society–or the stratum of the population which diverts public attention from the existing danger."not to leave.

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