Defendant Confesses to Complicity in Murders

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During a court hearing on June 15 defendant in the Ter-Sahakian case Suren Haroutiunian confirmed that Armen Ter-Sahakian was giving instructions and casting roles in committing murders.

According to Haroutiunian–Ter-Sahakian said that the necessity of the murders was based on "state interests." Haroutiunian deposed that he was involved with Alik Grigorian and Artur Aloyan in the murder of the head of the Ashtarak Regional Executive Committee Hovhannes Sukiassian; he was involved with Alik Grigorian and Arshak Shukhian in the murder of the chief of the Railroad Department Hambartsum Ghandilian; he was involved with Arshak Shukhian and Israel Sargsian in the failed attempt on the life of chief of the investigation department of the Prosecutor’s Office. In all cases Suren Haroutiunian was involved as a driver. The defendant also confessed to his complicity in stealing cars and committing assaults.

In answer to the lawyers’ question as to why after understanding the real objectives of the group he would not refuse from participating in the crimes–the defendant said: "There were cases when I was sure that my refusal would be dangerous to me." And to report the crimes–according to the defendant–would have meant a death sentence for him.

The defendant also said that the incorporation of the group formed by Armen Ter-Sahakian into the internal troops system had a formal character and was done for the purpose of observing the rules of security.

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