Family of Babayan’s Lawyer Threatened with Reprisals

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–An anonymous man threatened lawyer Judex Shakarian’s family with reprisals unless he stopped defending the former commander-in-chief of the Karabakh Army Samvel Babayan–the lawyer’s wife Zvart Karoyan told a Noyan Tapan reporter.

According to Karoyan–there was a telephone call and a man’s voice asked: "Does your husband defend Samvel Babayan?" When the man heard an affirmative answer–he added: "We will square accounts with your daughter and her kid unless your husband discontinues defense."

Shakarian’s daughter lives in France and her daughter is staying in Yerevan now at her grandmother’s.

Zvart Karoyan phoned her husband–who is now in Stepanakert. He advised her to report the incident to the police and she did so. Police officials drew up an file and promised to take control of the apartment. Zhudex Shakarian is going to return to Yerevan Thursday.

The Human Rights Commission of the Constitutional Right Union is taking extra measures to protect the Shakarians.

Earlier–two lawyers refused to continue defending Samvel Babayan–explaining that physical pressure had been put on them.

Samvel Babayan is currently kept in custody in Stepanakert on charges of masterminding the March 22 assassination attempt on the Karabakh president.

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