YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a July 1 hearing of the "Sept. 25" case–the Judicial Board decided to return the case for an additional inquiry and change the punishment with respect to defendant Arsen Yeghiazarian. The Judicial Board found groundless the charges of Article 74 of the Criminal Code of Armenia brought against the defendant. The Judicial Board said it was still unclear whether the defendant participated or not in the kidnapping of Parliament Speaker Babken Ararktsian. The Judicial Board cites that specific aspect as in need of further inquiry.
Four additional proceedings instituted in connection with the Sept. 25 events were considered by the Supreme Court of Armenia. Grisha Melik-Sargssian–State Prosecutor in the current case– claimed that preliminary investigation agencies had not clearly outlined criminal actions committed by the defendant. Sufficient evidence was available during the judicial investigation suggesting that defendant Yeghiazarian was in the National Assembly building on September 25 trying to defend himself.
Parliament Speaker Babken Ararktsian–delivering his speech for the prosecution–Melik-Sargssian asked for the case to be returned for additional inquiry and the punishment with respect to the defendant be changed.
He said that officials feel that a verdict of "not guilty" should be passed and the defendant should be released immediately.
In a press interview–the defendant’s lawyer–Marina Ghalabian–pointed out that a discrepant decision had been passed.
The Judicial Board admits that the charges on Article 74 are groundless–however the verdict on that part returns the case for an additional inquiry so that the missing links in the case of Ararktsian’s kidnapping could be established. Meanwhile–punishment is designed for illegal kidnapping or imprisonment of a private person following the Article 130 of the Criminal Code of Armenia.