Evidence Against Ter Sahakian Mounts

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Defendant in the Armen Ter-Sahakian case Israel Sargssian informed the court this week that in 1992 Armen Ter-Sahakian offered him to join Ter-Sahakian’s group and become one of the "lads." Sargssian testified that he agreed to join the group knowing about Ter-Sahakian’s connections with some officials and was waiting for "a normal job." The protection of state interests was the initially indicated task for the group. According to Sargssian–he could not even imagine that in the building where ANM Board members and other officials meet–a room was provided for "murderer gatherings."

Sargssian said that he rejected Ter-Sahakian’s offer to "dispose of a man [Hovhannes Sukiassian] for the brotherhood’s sake." Ter-Sahakian did not tell Sargssian either the name of the "client" or the motives of the murder. According to him–even the names of those who committed murders were kept secret. Sargssian testified that he does not know anything about the murder of the chief of the Department of the Armenian Railroad Hambartsum Ghandilian. As for the attempted murder of Chief of the Investigation Department–Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia–Vladimir Grigorian–Sargssian testified that the bullets were shot so that they might not hit Grigorian.

The defendant assured the court that it was impossible to get out of that "mire" or "abyss" without outside assistance. "We were even afraid to make a casual mention of it; life is a sweet thing." Sargssian told the court that when he thought about quitting the group–Ter-Sahakian threatened him and said–"Either we will kill you–or you will throw yourself from a bridge."

When the brother of the murdered Hovhanness Sukiassian–Harutiun Sukiassian asked defendant Souren Haroutiunian to name the "client" of the murders–the defendant said–"I am not in fear of my life–but I have relatives."

In reaction to the evidence given against him Armen Ter-Sahakian was from time to time making incomprehensible exclamations: "shoo!" or "the tanks have come!"

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