Ter Sahakian Trial Approaches End; Defense Drags Case

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armen Ter-Sahakian kept his promise to foil court hearings made during the previous court session in the presence of judge Gagik Poghossian. To his usual shouts like "the tanks are approaching–they want to kill me" the principal defendant added "free the wolves." Later–he warned the guards escorting the defendants that he would maim himself if taken to the court-room. Taking into account that Ter-Sahakian was only fulfilling his promise–prosecuting attorney Koryun Pilosian asked the court to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the defendant–allowing him get acquainted with the case materials later on. The court proceeded in Ter-Sahakian’s absence.

The counsel for the defense expressed their discontent–and Ter-Sahakian’s lawyer Anzhela Karapetian even challenged the judge for his decision to proceed with the hearing in her client’s absence–which she considered sufficient grounds to appeal the final verdict in the future. The judge qualified the defense’s action as "an attempt to protract the trial," dismissing the challenge as unreasonable.

The judge also read out a note he had received from the remand prison announcing that another defendant in the case–Alik Grigorian–had provoked a quarrel with Mkrtich Arakelian with whom he shared his cell. The quarrel resulted in a brawl during which Grigorian struck his head against the bed. As the defendant felt ill–the court decided to postpone the hearing until March 27.

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