Prosecution in the Siradeghian Trial Begins Its Case

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Prosecutors in the "Others minus Vano Siradeghian" case tried by the criminal trial court in Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district began their opening argument Thursday. The counsel for the prosecution specified the guilt of each of the eleven defendants in the case–point by point.

According to the opening argument–Head of the Internal Troops Department of the Interior Ministry Vahan Haroutiunian together with his deputy Artsrun Markarian–with instructions from then Interior minister Vano Siradeghian–plotted and organized the assassination of Moscow-based businessman Serge Jilavian. The assassination was not carried out due to outside circumstances.

Haroutiunian with the help of others–organized the kidnapping of Artur Hovhannissian and Karen Rafaelian–in January of 1994. Later–after the attempt on the life of Jilavian was foiled–in an attempt to conceal the circumstances of the crime–Haroutiunian plotted the murder of the kidnapped Hovhannissian and Rafaelian. Also–by Siradeghian’s order–he organized the arson of a snack bar in the Hrazdan canyon–causing damage to state and public interests.

Police task group official Norair Tadevossian participated in the plotting of Jilavian’s murder. Tadevossian brought a pistol to Moscow with him along with a silencer and cartridges to commit the crime. After the plan was foiled in January 1994–Tadevossian assisted in the premeditated murder of the victims.

Sahak Balian–based on instructions from his commander Vahan Haroutiunian–on January 24–1994–killed the kidnapped Hovhannissian and Rafaelian using an illegally purchased assault rifle with a silencer.

The prosecution considers it to be confirmed that defendant Mkrtich Arakelian–accompanied Balian from the Internal Troops Department to a summer-cottage in Vardashen. The prosecution claims the two chose the cottage for committing the murders of Hovhannissian and Rafaelian. The prosecution also claims that Arakelian waited for the murder of the victims to be perpetrated–and then–in order to hide all evidence of the crime–helped conceal the corpses. While Balian committed the murder–defendants Artur Shahbazian–Artur Khachatrian and Movses Nersissian blocked the road near the cottage leading to the scene of the crime. The prosecution also accuses defendants Hayk Aghajanian–Yeran’s Melkonian–Gagik Petrossian–Murad Dashtoyan in the kidnapping of Hovhannissian and Rafaelian–claiming the two abused their powers and used violence.

The trial was postponed until July 25–when the counsel for prosecution will continue their opening argument.


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