YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Trial of 31" defendants Karen Hazarapet Karapetian–Sergey Hovhannissian–Ashot Avetissian and Armen Rostamian were released following a March 3 Supreme Court decision.
The Supreme Court Executive Council examined the claims of cessation filed by the defendants and their lawyers and overruled the Supreme Court’s Dec. 11–1997 verdict charging the majority of the defendants with forcible overthrow of power–plotting of terrorist acts–activity aimed at committing heavy crimes–and felony.
The previous charges against Vahan Hovanessian weredropped on all counts as well.
"Arapo" commander Manuel Yeghiazarian’s sentence was also repealed.
The sentences of Tigran Vardges Avetissian–Armen Yeritsian–Gagik Karapetian and Artur Ghazarian–who were charged with the murder of two policemen remained unchanged.
It should be noted that Tigran Avetissian was sentenced to death–Gagik Karapetian and Artur Ghazarian to 7 years in prison–and Armen Yeritsian to six years in prison. Gnel Hovhannissian’s sentence was cut by 1 year.
Hovanessian’s lawyer Bagrat Yesayan said that the reason for the recent repeal of court decisions "once again proves that Vahan Hovanessian was arrested and kept in custody for more than 2 years because of his political beliefs."