Trial of Armenian opposition figures in deadlock

The seven prominent opposition figures, arrested in conjunction with the violence on the streets of Yerevan that erupted after Armenia’s February 2008 presidential election, were ordered out of courtroom as the defendants refused to stand up and respect the judge. The hearing was postponed for the 5th time.
Citing “disrespect to the court” the judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan ordered the 7 defendants out and postponed the trial for the 5th consecutive time since the trial began on December 19. Next hearing is set on January 16.
Over a hundred protesters waited outside the courtroom amid tight security, held off by a barrage of metal bars. Many held up posters and chanted “Freedom to political prisoners!”

(Source: RFE/RL, original reporting by Anush Martirosyan and Karine Simonyan)

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant

1 Comment

  1. Well, that’s moving right along, huh?
    Meanwhile, two looters, the only people convicted of actual crimes on March 1, were pardoned yesterday by Sargsyan:
    President Serzh Sarkisian has pardoned nine more individuals arrested and sentenced to up to fours years’ imprisonment in connection with the 2008 post-election strife in Yerevan, his office reported late Monday.
    Armen Khachatrian, a representative of Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) dealing with the jailed oppositionists, claimed on Tuesday that all nine individuals were released days and even weeks before Sarkisian formalized their amnesty. He said two of them, Yeghishe Grigorian and Karlen Manucharian, had no ties to the Armenian opposition and were jailed for looting shops during the March 1 violence.

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