ArmeniaNow.com - Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 November 7 , 2003 


The Naghdalyan Trial: Prosecution calls for 15 years for Sargsyan and Harutyunyan


Prosecutor Zelim Tadevosyan reads the bill of indictment.

Testimony has finished in the Tigran Naghdalyan murder trial and the prosecution is asking that Armen Sargsyan and John Harutyunyan each be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Naghdalyan, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Armenian Public Television, was shot to death last December 28. Harutyunyan has confessed to the murder, saying that he was paid to kill the journalist.

Sargsyan, the brother of slain Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan is accused of putting out a contract on Naghdalyan, allegedly for a fee of $75,000.

Arguments in the high-profile case have lasted about three months and charges were brought against 13 defendants.

Other State-requested sentences are:

               Hovhanness "Aper" Harutyunyan, seven years for conspiracy to commit murder.

              Grigor Petrosyan (Harutyunyan's driver), seven years for complicity.

               Gegham Shahbazyan, 11 years, for complicity.

               Felix Arustamyan, 12 years, for complicity.

              The remaining defendants, including Liova Harutyunyan the father of Armen Sargsyan's godson, face one-year sentences if found guilty.

Tigran Naghdalyan's father doesn't think that prosecution demands fair punishment for the killer.


Concerning a potential sentence for Armen Sargsyan, the court regarded mitigating circumstances, including that he has two minor children and that he was awarded the "Defender of the Republic" medal for his volunteer service in the Karabakh war.

Naghdalyan's relatives were displeased with what they consider light sentences. (According to Armenia's new criminal code, sentencing options were either life imprisonment or 15 years.)

"The prosecutors were within an ace of conferring orders upon them as if these criminals are heroes of war and have orders and medals," said Hovhaness Naghdalyan, Tigran Naghdalyan's father. "I agree maybe they are, but today heroes turned into monsters."

Karineh Naghdalyan, Tigran Naghdalyan's sister and legal beneficiary, was offered an opportunity to make a statement. She declined, asking for three days to prepare the speech.

On November 10 the defendants' lawyers will also make closing statements, after which Judge Saro Aramyan will render verdicts.

The court is approaching the final statements' stage.

Before the conclusion of arguments, Aramyan refused defense attorneys' motion to hear further evidence.

Sargsyan's lawyers say that there are discrepancies in medical reports and forensic analyses which contradict testimony. Specifically, they say post-mortem reports show that the bullet that killed Naghdalyan entered the nape of his neck and exited his forehead. John Harutyunyan and a forensic expert gave testimony exactly the opposite.

Aramyan's refusal to consider further evidence angered defense lawyers, who accused the judge of short-circuiting the judicial process.

"Motions I made concerning painting in details for the trial were aimed at filling the gaps that had appeared during the preliminary investigation," said attorney Robert Grigoryan. "When the court denies them it means that it doesn't provide objective, complete and multisided investigation of the criminal case, namely, it doesn't administer justice."

 

 

 

More in

On Trial - August-22-2003
Naghdalyan Case, Session Four - September-05-2003
Tigran Naghdalyan Murder Case - September-12-2003
The Naghdalyan Case - September-26-2003
The Naghdalyan Case - October-3-2003
The Naghdalyan Case - October-24-2003

Or click here for previous stories on the case.

 


According to Agnes
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