YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Vahan Hovanessian defense attorney Bakrad Yessaian said that national interest should prevail over political differences–in an interview held Friday. He viewed as unjust trying once time Karabakh freedom fighters as traitors.
According to Yessaian–the unconstitutional behavior of governmental officials is reflective of their belief that they cannot be punished . "Following the victory in Karabakh–achieved through the struggle of the people–through disrupting internal politics and isolating the opposition from the domestic scene–they created and forced upon the people a national agenda that does not correspond with our national ideals and globally accepted standards," stated Yessaian.
He explained that instead of leading a basic political fight with fair competition–they adopted a policy of derogatory verbal accusations. "The road that they took is what brought Armenia to this unfavorable condition in domestic and international relations," the attorney explained. According to Yessaian–due to the aforementioned mode of operation of the Armenian government–the dire situation in Armenian and Karabakh is irreversible. The government–he said–is not determined to solve the problem by way of a pan-Armenian decision.
With regard to the "Trial of 31," Yessaian explained that the government made these arrests on July 29–1995–in order to subdue the people’s protest of the irregularities in the constitutional referendum and the National Assembly elections. The government wanted to instill in people a sense of fear–using as examples of the legal repercussions of protest the persecution of Vahan Hovanessian and "Arapo" commander Manuel Yeghiazarian. The Karabakh freedom fighters realized that–while they were defending their homeland for four years–a group of government officials had acquired a sizable amount of wealth at the expense of the people–a large number of which were facing poverty. In response to this discovery–the Interior National Security Ministry of Armenia issued guidelines for the prosecution of those arrested.
However–according to Yessaian–due to the efforts of the defense and the defendants–the trial did not proceed as government officials had intended. The case presented by the prosecution team and the judge was not only destroyed but also exposed the failed sham.
"The government–above all–is obliged to understand that it is unjust to allow political differences to result in the unfair treatment of Karabakh freedom fighters as traitors–while calling upon their friends to help alleviate the threats facing Karabakh," Yessaian professed. "Government officials must rise above personal ideological differences and behave in an appropriate manner." appropriate to their position."