Bleyan Deman’s Open Trial

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A local court in Yerevan that has been trying former education minister and head of the Mkhitar Sebastatsi educational complex–Ashot Bleyan–had to continue the hearing the case Monday in Bleyan’s isolated prison cell–because of Bleyan’s refusal to participate in what he called the "illegal" court-room hearing.

Only a restricted number of Bleyan’s relatives were allowed into the "court-room." Several reporters were also allowed to witness the proceedings but could not to film the case. Outside the complex a large group of teachers gathered in front of the prison protesting against–"illegal proceedings against their boss."

Before the court proceeded to hear the case–Bleyan announced he would not participate in the closed trial. He demanded that article 39 of the constitution–stipulating that every citizen has the right to open trial–be respected.

Bleyan said that he had been taken to the court-room October 5 by unknown police officers and was subjected to physical abuse by them. He once again accused the judge of executing the authorities’ order. "This is political persecution of the leader of the Nor Ughi party (of which he is chairman)," Bleyan said.

Earlier the counsel for the prosecution demanded an eight year jail term for Bleyan who is accused of public funds embezzlement and bribery.

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