Prosecutors Ask Court to Release Defendants From Their Sentences

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On July 25–prosecutors in the "Others minus Vano Siradeghian" case asked the court to sentence the former head of the Internal Troops Department Vahan Haroutiunian to seven years of imprisonment to be served in high-security corrective labor prison and have half of his personal property confiscated. The prosecutors also asked the court to pardon Haroutiunian’s wrongdoing in the episodes involving the arson of a snack bar in the Hrazdan canyon. The prosecuting attorneys stressed that they had petitioned for a sentence below the minimum considering the fact that the defendant had contributed to the disclosure of the case.

The counsel for the prosecution asked the court to sentence Sahak Balian–who committed the murder of Artur Hovhannissian and Karen Rafaelian–to 15 years in prison. The first five years to be served in ordinary prison and the rest to be served in a high-security corrective labor colony–taking into account the fact that at the moment of committing the crime the defendant was in a state of intoxication–which aggravates his guilt. The prosecutors refused to support the charge of premeditated murder aimed at concealing another murder brought against Balian–as no evidence was acquired to substantiate this charge.

The prosecutors asked the court to re-qualify the charge of complicity in murder brought against Mkrtich Arakelian–Artur Shahbazian–Artur Khachatrian and Movses Nersissian into assistance to murder–as there is no direct evidence confirming their immediate perpetration of the murder. The counsel for the prosecution refused to support the charge of misprision brought against Hayk Aghajanian–as under Article 42 of the RA Constitution a man does not have to testify against himself. The prosecutors also asked the court to imprison to defendants Artur Shahbazian and Artur Khachatrian on the terms of their arrests on suspicion of murder of the former mayor of Yerevan Hambartsum Galstian. The case was later dismissed.

The prosecutors also asked the court to sentence Norair Tadevossian to 10 years–Mkrtich Arakelian to 9–Movses Nersissian–Artur Shahbazian and Artur Khachatrian to 8–all to be served in high-security corrective labor prison. Asking the court to sentence Murad Dashtoyan–Gagik Petrossian and Hayk Aghajanian to 6 years of imprisonment each–and Yeran’s Melkonian to 5 years of imprisonment–the prosecuting attorneys suggested applying amnesty in their regard and releasing them from further serving the sentences.

Defense attorneys will make their speech at the next court hearing scheduled for August 7.


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