“Sept. 25″ Trial Defendant Testimony Refuted

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a regular session of the fifth set of the "Sept. 25" Trial Wednesday defendant Arsen Yeghiazarian reiterated that on Sept. 25–he appeared at the National Assembly building by chance.

After a group of people burst into the building he went upstairs to the cabinet of the National Assembly speaker and tried to prevent the crowd from beating Babken Ararktsian. To be heard he climbed on top of the table and demanded that the beating be stopped. Then he took Ararktsian out of the building. He stressed that being a devout Christian he could not possibly commit any violence. He said that blood stains on his shirt accounted for the fact that he was also beaten.

Ararktsian in his testimonies during the preliminary investigation said that nobody had helped him and that before beating him–three unknown men demanded that he come out and state that Vazgen Manoukian won in the presidential elections.

A victim in the case–Ararktsian’s secretary Narineh Badalian confirmed that one young man in jeans climbed onto the table and tried to defend her boss. She said that Yeghiazarian resembles that man. She denied allegations that the defendant burst into the office of the speaker with a group led by Arshak Sadoyan. She said she heard no calls of Sadoyan–but saw him in the office of the speaker.

Yeghiazarian–28–is charged with mass disturbances which occurred in Yerevan after the September 1996 presidential election.

At the "Sept. 25" hearings on Tuesday–public defenders Lusineh Sahakian and Avetis Ishkhanian–as well as attorney Tigran Janoyan demanded that the case be dismissed due to the absence of facts and that defendants Vahe Varsanian–Seryozha Melkonian and Onik Hunanian be acquitted and freed from custody.

According to Sahakian–the Sept. 25 provocation was instigated by the authorities and the blame placed on the people and the opposition. Janoyan said the preliminary investigation did not pursue the instigators of the incident–its executors and organizers. According to him–the authorities chose the opposition as a convenient scapegoat.


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