Internal Ministry Troop Leader Trial Concludes

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The lower court of Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district chaired by Judge Razmik Tovmassian announced the final part of its verdict Tuesday in the ongoing so-called "Others minus Vano Siradeghian" case.

The former commander of the Internal Troops–former deputy minister of the interior–Vahan Harutiunian was sentenced to a six-year prison term–to be served at a maximum security labor correctional facility. The court found Harutiunian guilty of plotting and the attempted murder of the Moscow-based businessman Serge Jilavian–as well as the plotting of the murders of Karen Rafaelian and Harutiun Harutiunian and abuse of power.

Sahak Balian–who committed the murders of Karen Rafaelian and Harutiun Harutiunian–was sentenced to a 15-year prison term . Norair Tadevossian was found guilty of the attempted murder of Serge Jilavian–aiding and abetting in the murder of two individuals–as well as of the unlawful possession of arms. He was sentenced to a 10-year prison term.

The former agents of the Security Service of the commander of the Department of Internal Troops–Artur Shahbazian–Artur Khachatrian and Movses Nersissian–who were found guilty of aiding and abetting in the murder of Karen Rafaelian and Harutiun Harutiunian–were each sentenced to eight-year prison terms.

A surprise in the verdict came with the requalification of abuse of power–as well as aiding and abetting charges brought against Mkrtich Arakelian.

Prosecutors had asked for a nine-year prison sentence for Arakelian–the court–on the other hand–sentenced him to five years and levied a fine of 80,000 drams.

The same sentence was given to Yeran’s Melikian–Murad Dashtoyan–Gagik Petrossian and Hayk Aghajanian. The first three were sentenced for abuse of power–and the fourth for concealing crime. The amnesty resolution adopted by the National Assembly applied to five of the aforementioned individuals–and they were released at the courtroom.

The other convicts and their lawyers intend to appeal the verdict within 15 days at the Criminal and Military Court of Appeal.

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