“Sept. 25″ Attorneys Say Siradeghian at Fault for Disturbance

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The trial of defendants charged with social disorder following the September presidential elections continued Tuesday–with defense attorney Rouben Sahakian telling the court that while there was mass disorder following the elections–the preliminary investigation had not yet proven the individuals actually responsible for an attack on Armenia’s National Assembly building.

"I support the principle that the guilty be called to task and be punished for what they did," stated Sahakian–asserting–however–that the preliminary investigation into the incidents had not attempted to focus on the actual culprits of the incidents.

Sahakian said that the law enforcement agencies were interested in blaming the opposition leadership and create a climate whereby opposition leader Vazgen Manoukian would be blamed for the incarceration of innocent civilians.

Public defendant Vova Hakhverdian stated that former interior minister and current Yerevan Mayor Vano Siradeghian was directly responsible for the social disorder following the elections.

Hakhverdian added that following the elections more some 200 to 250 individuals were arrested–whose only "crime" was taking part in the Manoukian presidential campaign.

Defense attorney Joudeks Shakaryan told the court that the arrest of his client–Mkrtich Meghavorian was aimed at establishing allegations of a clandestine organization–like the so-called "Dro" group–with Manoukian’s National Democratic Union.

The three attorneys urged the court to immediately free the defendants of the "Sept. 25" trial and commence criminal proceedings against the preliminary investigation board for incarcerating individuals for more than seven months without actual proof of a crime.

Defense attorney Armenika Kivirian stated that her client–Argishti Kivirian–was a journalist and his presence at the National Assembly entrance at the time of the so-called disturbance was due to his job as a reporter. Armenika stated that the investigating team neglected to take into consideration this matter–and–nonetheless arrested Argishti.

She called on all journalists to refrain from covering any and all public gatherings and rallies to protect themselves from unlawful arrests.

The next "Sept. 25" court session was scheduled for Monday.


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