28.12.2019 | Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia appealed to the RA Court of Cassation with 2 petitions with a view to overturn the guilty verdicts, rendered in 2008 and acquit the convicts

Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia Artur Davtyan lodged a cassation appeal against the guilty verdicts rendered  in 2008 against Armen Avagyan and David Aghayan.


According to the verdicts of 2008, A. Avagyan was pleaded guilty under Part 1 of Art. 316 of the RA Criminal Code and was sentenced to imprisonment for 1 year and 6 months, which was changed by the decision of the RA Criminal Court of Appeal and the sentence imposed was not conditionally applied. The latter was pleaded guilty for assaulting police officers on Freedom Square with a group of other people and committing violence not harmful to health.


And D. Aghayan was pleaded guilty under Part 1 of Art. 316 and Part of 2 Art. 225 of the RA Criminal Code and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years. Appeal was lodged by him, but the appeal was rejected, and the decision of the court of general jurisdiction was left unchanged. The courts considered it confirmed that on March 1, 2008, David Aghayan resorted to violence against police officers maintaining the public order on G. Lusavorich Avenue.


In the course of the investigation of verdicts, criminal case materials regarding the participants in the events that preceded and followed the presidential election in 2008, it was found out that in the course of the investigation of these cases there were violations of procedural law, as a result of which judicial acts were illegal and unreasonable and these acts violated the constitutional and conventional rights of the convicts and fair trial.


In particular, the charge against A. Avagyan was vague, without a description of specific criminal acts, and it is unclear who was the representative of the government, there were no people recognized as victims. The court, without any justification, rejected the defense side petition to call witnesses for interrogation, relied only on the testimonies of the police.


Assessing the factual circumstances of the case of D. Aghayan in the light of domestic case law and the legal position of the ECHR by the case of “Mushegh Saghatelyan v. Armenia”, it was found out that the courts, justifying the charge against D. Aghayan, relied on testimonies of the police officers, did not guarantee the right to a fair trial;  attached importance to the testimony of the police officers.


Meanwhile, the European Court by the case of ''Mushegh Saghatelyan v. Armenia'' and by other cases regarding Armenia expressed the legal position that unconditional approval of the option presented by the police regarding the events, their inability to properly respond to the applicant's arguments and the refusal of the request of the defense side for the interrogation  of witnesses lead to the restriction of the rights of the defense side, which contradicts the guarantees of a fair trial.


On the basis of the above mentioned circumstances, the RA Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan appealed to the RA Court of Cassation with a request to cancel, amend the judicial acts regarding A. Avagyan and D. Aghayan and plead that they are not guilty.