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01.11.2019 | The RA Prosecutor General filed cassation complaints in order to cancel three more verdicts, to change them and justify the people who were convicted for them

The RA Prosecutor General filed cassation complaints against Hovhannes Ghazaryan, Davit Arakelyan, Arman Shahinyan against convictions.


According to the verdicts the Court of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan the above-mentioned persons were found guilty under Article 316, Part 1 of the RA Criminal Code. The Court has stated that early in the morning on 1 March 2008, during the events at Liberty Square, these persons, in various circumstances and in various places, did not comply with the lawful requirements of the police officers and, by pushing, hitting them, used violence not harming health.


By the verdicts, Hovhannes Ghazaryan was sentenced to one year, David Arakelyan to one year and six months imprisonment. The mentioned sentence was not provisionally applied to them and probation for year period was imposed. And Aram Shahinyan was sentenced to one year and six months of real imprisonment.


In all three cases, the verdicts were appealed by the defense to the RA Criminal Court of Appeal, which terminated the appeals on H. Ghazaryan and D. Arakelyan reasoning that  accused persons and their defendants were not present at the court hearing on the ground of refusal of the appeal and in Shahinyan's case, the appeal was rejected the verdict of the Court of General Jurisdiction was left unchanged.


The investigation carried out by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia revealed that during the investigations of these cases such fundamental violations of procedural law were allowed, in the result of which the adopted judicial acts disrupt the very essence of justice.


In particular, it was established that the pre-trial and judicial proceedings in the cases of these persons were violated by the requirements of Articles 3 and 18 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia, and there was no corpus delicti established in Article 316 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia.


The body instituting the proceedings and the courts considered the pushing or pulling of the police officers as violence, while there was a case law by the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia that they could not be assessed as such. Indictments, judicial acts do not describe the forms of violence or threats by such persons that are dangerous to life or health. There are no victims in all three criminal cases.


The study also showed that in these cases the courts violated the defendants’ constitutional and conventional rights for fair trial.


Particularly, the motions of the defense to summon the witness to the police and to interrogate as a witness were rejected during the trials, the verdict was based exclusively on the police officers' not properly checked testimony during the proceedings, or the contradicting testimonies of the witnesses were considered, although they were not refused by other evidence in the case.


Meanwhile, the European Court, has stated in a number of appeals against Mushegh Saghatelyan v. Armenia and other cases not related with Armenia that the unconditional endorsement of the events, their failure to properly respond to any of the applicant's arguments, and their defense witnesses' refusal to properly examine the relevance of their testimonies leads to a restriction of the rights of the defense, which contradicts to the guarantees of a fair trial.


In addition to the above, the study showed that considering the defendants' failure to appear in court in both cases as a ground for refusal of appeal and thus dismissing the proceedings of the Court of Appeal contradicts the legal positions of the Court of Cassation and are not founded.


Based on the above, the RA Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan applied to the RA Court of Cassation with the request to repeal and amend the court acts on Hovhannes Ghazaryan, David Arakelyan, Arman Shahinyan.