Point of View

They are convinced that the real perpetrators are at large

28.02.2011

It's more than a year that the court tries to find out who has robbed Moscow Cinema. While doing it two young people are under detention and their guilt is not proved yet that in its turn violates the presumption of innocence proscribed by the RA laws.

This refers to the theft of 5 million 80000 AMD and 10000 RUB from Moscow Cinema in January 2010 in which Stepan Hovakimyan and Vahram Kerobyan are charged. Last year, it seemed that the trial should have finished with an accusing verdict. However after the meeting of Hovhakimyan's father, Mr. Beniamin Hovakimyan, and his attorneys, Mr. Givi Hovhannisyan and Tigran Safaryan, with the Council of European Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg, the judge of this case was transferred to another court, and from the 22nd of February judge Mkhitar Papoyan, started to examine the case at the First Instance Court of Center and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts.

Papoyan has already turned down two petitions for release of the two defendants under bail. Nevertheless the parents continue to fight for the rights of their children as they believe in their innocence, while the real perpetrators are in freedom.

The parents keep asking how their children are to be guilty if in the presented video a boy appears who is tall and in no way matches their sons, when it is even not proved that the boys were found near each other in the same area and speaking with the mobile phone under the same aerial.

To treat Hovakimyan's self-confession as the only primary evidence is considered to be inaccurate, especially when Hovakimyan had further stated that violence had been used against him at the police station, and that his relatives and lawyers hadn't been aware of Hovakimyan's place for 10 hours.

"In this case, Hovakimyan has asked them a logical question why he had written in his testimony that 4.5 million AMD was stolen, when it was actually 5 million 80 thousand AMD, that is because, he had written whatever was dictated, and the policemen were not aware of the real amount", said Safaryan..
When we asked the Deputy Director of Moscow Cinema, Norayr Azatyan whether he agrees with the fact that if it turned out in the future that the young men are innocent, it wouldn't only mean that the two young men had spent 1 year in the prison, but also that the presumption of innocence would have been violated, he answered:

"You are right, but I am sure that Hovakimyan is guilty, as far as I know him and his behaviour, and moreover, he had behaved badly even during this period".
A few minutes later, he said that he did not know Hovakimyan closely,he just knew that he had often come to Moscow Cinema to his girlfriend who worked there as a treasurer, who, in his opinion, had also cooperated with the young men.
By the way, the friend said that she was merely Hovakimyan's friend and she had no love affair with him and that she did not understand what had happened. She only knew that she had been relieved from her post unreasonably, overlooking the fact that someone else had worked there after her.

Some employees of Moscow Cinema informed www.hra.am during the break of the court hearing that they had always said that it is not Kerobyan in the video. Azatyan could not give any explanation to that question by saying: "Let the court decide". He just said:
"The other one, that very guy who looks like an underdeveloped, has fallen under his influence; the father has also fallen under the influence of his father. I even regret that this guy, who is the misfortune for his family, had also made that family unhappy", states Azatyan, saying that by saying this he does not see an "absolute" danger of Kerobyan's committing another crime, and that he would not mind if Kerobyan is discharged.
But just at the next moment, after the break when the prosecutor objected to defense petition of Kerobyan release under bail, that very Azatyan willingly agreed with the prosecutor's decision, later informing www.hra.am that he could not confront the prosecutor.

It should be noted, that Kerobyan, who was named "underdeveloped" by the deputy director of the cinema, had graduated from Yerevan State University (YSU), and his parents work at YSU, and his father is a scholar and lecturer there.

"From the very beginning their goal was not the just examination of the case, but "making" a case", assures Kerobyan's father who does not understand the reason of the prosecutor to insist that their son was hiding from the police, when the investigator knowing their address in Yerevan looked for their son in Gyumri, where the Kerobyans' family was actually registered, but has never lived.

Even during the trial, when Papoyan asked Kerobyan about their address in Gyumri, the young man hardly remembered it, because he lives in Yerevan.

P.S: For further news, please visit

http://stepanhovakimyan.wordpress.com/:

Karine Ionesyan

Source: www.hra.am