“The brother of witness Arthur Mkrtchyan is taken as hostage by the military police”, says Rouben Martirosyan


Trial on the case Artak Nazaryan, 15 May, 2012

On May 15, the regular hearings of the trial on the death of Artak Nazaryan, started but in reality did not take place in the First Instance Court of Tavush marz.

At the beginning, the judge Samvel Mardanyan, postponed the session for 10 minutes, because defendant Haroutik Kirakosyan, who continues his military service and is not detained, was not brought to the court in time. The judge reprimanded the officials of the Military Police, who accompanied the defendant, for being late, who in their turn blamed the bad state of roads of Dilijan for their delay.

The police departments of Vagharshapat and Sisian have sent letters to the court informing that ArmanMnatsakanyan, key witness in the case, had been abroad undergoing medical treatment and Arthur Mkrtchyan, another witness, had been in Nagorno Karabakh, but would be present at the next court session.

Levon Poghosyan, lawyer of the defendant Vahagn Haroutyunyan, declared that the accusation against his client was based on testimonies of four witnesses, who during the trial used every opportunity not to attend the court hearings, and applied to the court to take necessary efforts to bring the witnesses to the court, otherwise he would appeal that the testimonies of absent witnesses be taken out from the accusation.

His notes that the court had not “provided enough efforts” to ensure presence of witnesses in the court, and “had not provided oversight” annoyed the judge Mardanyan, who contradicted the lawyer, saying: “You like using sweet and bitter things. The court took all measures, try to be correct in your statements, talk about things that you are aware of.”

Lawyer Moushegh Shoushanyan, representative of the victim’s legal successor, joined the appeal of Hrant Gevorgyan, lawyer of defendant Hakob Manoukyan, to postpone the court session. Mr. Shoushanyan announced that the letters from the police could not be considered as evidence on the fact that Arman Mnatsakanyan was out of Armenia, and that the court should apply to corresponding bodies to clarify whether Arman Mnatsakanyan had crossed the border of the country.

Lawyer Shoushanyan declared that it was high time to transfer the hearings back to Yerevan. The judge said that the place of the court hearings was not to be discussed at that session. Tsovinar Nazaryan, the sister of Artak Nazaryan also insisted that the court sessions be transferred to Yerevan, as two witnesses live closer to Yerevan. The court decided that the above-mentioned witnesses should be brought to the court by order and that the investigative bodies should provide for their presence at the court.

The next session of the case of the death of Artak Nazaryan is scheduled for 22nd of May.

According to Rouben Martirosyan, the representative of the victim’s legal successor, Arthur Mkrtchyan is the only witness, who dared to resist and declare that his testimony was taken through beatings and using torture against him. Currently, he is forced to come to court and give false testimony, which he does not want to do.

In Rouben Martirosyan’s opinion, the brother of Arthur Mkrtchyan, who served together with Arthur, has been kept in the military police “as hostage” until now, which is explained as a protection measure for him, although he was not present at the spot of Artak Nazaryan’s death.

Voskan Sargsyan