Point of View

Court trials are cancelled: young men have been detained for already 2 years

17.11.2011

Stepan Hovakimyan and Vahram Qerobyan have been detained for already two years, since the court system of Republic of Armenia is unable to reveal whether these young men are guilty in the robbery of "Moscow" cinema house or not.

Recently court trials are cancelled either because of health problems of the witnesses, or because of the absence of the prosecutor, or because of unavailability of court rooms. If in case of the first two issues the reasoning seems normal, then in case of unavailability of a court room for a previously arranged court trial sounds unusual.

As a reminder, Stepan Hovakimyan and Vahan Qerobyan are charged for organizing and realizing the robbery of "Moscow" cinema house on the 10th of January, 2010 by 3rd point of 38th article and 1st part of 3rd point of 177 article of RA Criminal Code.

The young men are charged for stealing 5million 80 thousand drams and 10 thousand RUB from "Moscow" cinema house.

The basis for the charges is the confession of Stepan Hovakimyan which, however, as he stated later, was obtained through violence.

There is a separate suit for using violence, which again is cancelled periodically. The sequential trial was to take place on the 16th of November, but it was again cancelled, since the court was busy with the investigation of another case. There is even no precise date of next trial defined by the RA Court of Criminal Appeals.

Meanwhile, in the Court of First Instance of Kentron and Nork Marash administrative districts judge Mkhitar Papoyan as well cancels court trials. Already for the third time (the last one was on the 15th of November) the trial was cancelled, and this time the reason was the absence of a court room. The trial was postponed until November 28th.

It is quite possible that the trial will be cancelled on the 28th of November either. Later the post-holiday days will come, and the suspects will celebrate 2 years of their detention.

This is one of those cases, when one tries to find some proof of robbery, but he/she can't. The videos show some young man, who resembles neither Hovakimyan nor Qerobyan with his height or appearance. It is not even proved that young men were in the same area and talked to each other under the same antenna.

Until today no witness gave such a testimony which will prove the "fact" of Qerobyan and Hovakimyan committing the robbery. Only the managers of the cinema-house express opinions of the young men being guilty in the robbery.

Meanwhile, there are witnesses interrogated, who present facts which exclude the guilt of the young men.

The cases of robbery and torture are interconnected. If it turns out that the confession was obtained through torture, then the investigation of the case of theft charges will take another direction. Both cases are delayed. If in case of fair trial the charges of theft are not proved, question rises of how the state is going to compensate the two years of detention of young people.

Karine Ionessyan

Source: www.hra.am