Declared General Amnesty also affected the police officers who subjected Vahan Khalafyan to violence


On June 15, RA Court of Appeal (chairing Judge Aida Hovhannisyan) dismissed appeals of the case of Vahan Khalafyan who died in the Police station of Charentsavan in April, 2010. 

The Court used paragraph 1.2 and paragraph 8. 3 of the Decree on declaration of the general amnesty on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Armenia's independence towards the main defendant, former head of the investigations department at Charentsavan police division Ashot Harutyunyan  by reducing his sentence by one third. The court also used the amnesty towards Charentsavan police officer Mores Hayrapetyan, releasing him from imprisonment.

Recalling the events, both prosecution and defense brought complaints against the decision of the Kotayk District Court of First Instance.   

The Prosecutor's Office appealed against the acquittal of police officers Gagik Davtyan and Gagik Ghazaryan. The successor of Vahan Khalafyan insists that Vahan had not committed suicide but was tortured to death. They demand fair punishment for defendants. Former head of the investigations department at Charentsavan police division Ashot Harutyunyan appealed against the sentence of 8 years of imprisonment. Police officer Mores Hayrapetyan who was sentenced to 2 years of suspended sentence, demanded for the acquittal.

Legal representative of Khalafyan's successor Artak Zeynalyan disagrees with the decision of the Court of Appeal and intends to lodge a complaint with the Court of Cassation. "Decision made by the Court in respect of amnesty proved our claims that if the police officers are not sentenced for torture but they are punished for breaching the order, abusing of the authority or exceeding the powers, the amnesty may be applied. He is not punished for torture or violation of the rights, he is punished for breaching the order", says the lawyer and adds that it proves once again that there is a serious system problem in Armenia. He considers the appeal brought by the Prosecutor's Office against the decision of the Court of First Instance as «a formality» and believes that the decision was agreed with the Prosecutor's Office.

Mary Aleksanyan