Hunanian Denies Intention to Kill Karen Demirchian

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At Monday’s hearing of the October 27 case–principal defendant Nairi Hunanian was questioned by Ashot Sargssian–the representative of the legal successor of Karen Demirchian. Most of the questions did not deal with the case itself–but were aimed at determining the defendant’s morality and his character–whether he was a law-abiding citizen or not. Hunanian stated that "the way you are going about this will have the opposite result of what you’re intending…I warned prosecutor Hakob Martirossian about this as well."

Responding to the question–"Did you murder Karen Demirchian?" Hunanian said that he was shooting in that direction–but he could not say whether it were his shots that caused Demirchian’s death. He also denied his shooting directly at Karen Demirchian and Vice-Speaker Yuri Bakhshian. "It can be clearly seen on video that there were no people there during my shooting," continued Hunanian.

Hunanian announced his intention to ask the ARF Bureau to reconsider his expulsion from the party "in order to stop any further speculations on this account."

The same day–it became clear that the telephone number provided to journalists covering the trial had been cut off.

The sanction was applied by the initiative of PR officer of the Council of Court Chairmen Gnuni Balayan and in accordance with the decision made by the Council’s Chairman Henrik Danielian. Deputy Interior Minister Hovhannes Varian expressed his dissatisfaction to Danielian’s and Balayan’s actions. Interior Ministry officials promised that another telephone number would soon be provided to media.

Balayan’s explanations are somewhat bewildering considering that they are not supported by the law. He said he heard telephone conversations that did not concern the functional duties of journalists. Balayan thinks he should have tape-recorded the conversations so he could use them as evidence if need be.

The government finds it necessary to invoke the provision of article 20 of the current Constitution–under which "everyone has the right to secrecy of telephone conversation that can be restricted only by a court decision."

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