YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Appeals Court of Armenia’started considering appeals–Wednesday–of seven defendants in the Armen Ter-Sahakian and others case (there are 9 defendants in this case). All the defendants pleaded not guilty of the charges of being gang members that had been brought against them–saying that they were members of a legal structure of the Interior Ministry and not of a gang.
Armen Ter-Sahakian–who was sentenced to death by the lower court of Yerevan’s Avan and Nor-Nork communities July 28–considering capital punishment to be unfair–demanded that it be revised. Another defendant sentenced to death–Alik Grigorian–also appealed the court’s verdict–asserting that he was an accomplice rather than the perpetrator of the crime. He stressed the fact that he was not a member of the gang–but was an employee of the Interior Ministry and fulfilled the orders of Interior Minister Vano Siradeghian and Internal Troops Commander Vahan Haroutiunian. Defendants Aghasi Avetissian–Avag Davtian–Marzpet Grigorian are demanding that the lower court’s verdict be revoked and that they be acquitted by the court. In his grievance–defendant Israel Sargssian deman’s that his sentence be reconsidered. Defendant Suren Haroutiunian also demanded that his sentence be mitigated. The other two defendants in the case–Arshak Shukhian and Gevorg Darbinian did not apply to the appeals court.
Lawyer Anzhela Karapetian will continue to defend Ter-Sahakian also in the Appeals Court. Alik Grigorian’s defense will be represented by Artak Babakhanian–a state-appointed lawyer. Other defendants said they would defend themselves. The court provided Babakhanian with some time to study the case materials and postponed the hearing till October 11.