Aragast Murder Trial Continues with Testimony

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Aragast cafe murder trial continued on January 8. Aghamal Harutiunian–President Kocharian’s bodyguard–is accused of the unintentional homicide–for the murder of Georgian-Armenian Poghos Poghossian.

The first witness to testify–Architect Stepan Nalbandian–who was with Poghossian at the cafe–stated that he could not identify the people who beat Poghossian to death because it was too chaotic at the cafe–he could not even identify the person who hit him (Nalbandian). According to Nalbandian–Aghamal Harutiunian was not the person who approached Poghossian and asked him to go to the restroom. Nalbandian also did not confirm that Harutiunian was the one who told Poghossian to "shut up" after Poghossian said "Hello Robik" to President Kocharian.

Another witness–the Head of the Department of Diasporan Issues of the Ministry of Science and Education Yura Navoyan who was with Poghossian that night also said that he did not notice any derogatory remarks toward Kocharian from Poghossian–especially since the president is a symbol of the Artsakh liberation struggle for all the Armenia’s living in Javakhk (the Samtskhe-Javakhetsi region of Georgia).

When Andranik Poghossian–the victim’s legal successor and brother–asked Navoyan why he did not tell him–or the ARF Supreme Body about the murder (Poghossian was an ARF member)–Navoyan said he was in a state of shock after seeing what happened and could not calm himself enough to tell him or the ARF. He went to the Prosecutor’s Office on September 28–2001–four days after the murder.

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