Hearing of Ashot Bleyan Case Adjourned

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The lower court of Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district continued hearing the criminal case initiated against former acting minister of education–former director of the "Mkhitar Sebastatsi" educational center Ashot Bleyan.

Monday’s session started with the defendant’s statement. Bleyan once again protested that the economic dispute between the "New School" publishing house and "Prism" LTD turned into criminal proceedings against him. According to him–"the effort made by the Yerevan Prosecutor’s Office to turn the transaction closed by `New School’ into criminal proceedings against the [former] minister of education–Ashot Bleyan–would be sufficient to force `Prism’ to fulfil its contractual commitmen’s on the basis of existing legislation". The Public Prosecutor–Eduard Ghoukassian requested the court not to allow Bleyan to "disturb the court with his irrelevant interference." He believes it to be "the defendant’s intention to drag out the legal proceedings." However–Bleyan’s lawyer–Robert Grigorian–insisted that thus the defendant tries to attract the court’s attention to certain points in the case against him.

The court also questioned Mkrtich Markossian–who was in charge of the contest which was announced by the Ministry of Education in 1995. At the pevious court sitting he renounced his evidence given during the preliminary investigation–which according to Ghoukassian–was "quite valuable". Markossian stated that while giving evidence during the preliminary investigation he was in an unbalanced mental state because of family problems.

Bleyan stated that by his testimony he will reveal what forced Markossian to testify against him. The hearing was adjourned for Markossian’s evidence to be revised.

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