The innocent person spent 2,5 years in prison


On 25 September, a court decision was made on the theft at the Cinema Moscow. The court, chaired by judge Mkhitar Papoyan, found Stepan Hovhakimyan guilty and sentenced him to 3 year imprisonment. The other defendant in the case, Vahram Qerobyan, was found not guilty. Thus, an innocent person was kept in Noubarashen detention prison for 2,5 yeas without any substantial evidence.

Let us remind that Stepan Hovhakimyan and Vahram Qerobyan were charged with theft at the Moscow Cinema. There were detained for more than two years. The only basis for the detention was confession of Hovhakimyan, which he later stated was taken of him as a result of torture.

Another evidence has been not revealed in the court of Kentron and Nork Marash until 26 July, 2012, when Ruzanna Qerobyan, Vahram Qerobyan's mother, gave a testimony that Hovhakimyan had passed a key from the cash office of the cinema to her son and tried to convince him to steal money from the cash office. However, at the last minute Qerobyan refused to do so. Later, Hovhakimyan gave a testimony in the court and confirmed that Qerobyan was not guilty.

After this, Vahram Qerobyan was released on a bail of 500000 RA Drams, and found not guilty later.

According to the court decision, Stepan Hovhakimyan was pleaded guilty for a theft committed on a large scale (Article 177.2.2 of the RA Criminal Code), which prescribes three years of imprisonment. We shall note that Hovhakimyan has been in detention since February 2010. The detention term should be considered within the sentence term, and thus in February 2013 Hovhakimyan should be released.

The legal representative of Cinema Moscow Norayr Azatyan told at the last court session that he did not want to discuss the compensation of the stolen money, as the father of Hovhakimyan, Beniamin Hovhakimyan gave the part of the money back to the cinema and will compensate the remaining part in the future.  

Author Կարինե Իոնեսյան