Sargsyan testifying earlier in the trial.
Family of Tigran Naghdalyan and defendants in
his murder trial have had their final say and
it is now up to Judge Saro Aramyan to render a
verdict within the next 10 days.
Naghdalyan, the chairman of the Board of Directors
of Armenian Public Television, was shot to death
last December 28.
The last hours of the three-month trial were
tense, with moments of drama.
Karine Naghdalyan, sister of the murdered journalist,
and his legal beneficiary, tearfully told the
court that 15 years (sentences suggested by the
prosecution for confessed-killer John Harutyunyan
and for alleged conspirator Armen Sargsyan) were
not justice for her brother's death.
"Two hundred fifty thousand dollars were
set aside for the murder," the sister said.
"Doesn't this fact mean that this is a case
for maximum punishment?"
Karine Naghdalyan said she is convinced that
the murder was ordered and suspects that Armen
Sargsyan ordered it, and that there are other
conspirators who haven't been identified. She
accused defendant Lyova Harutyunyan of shielding
In reply, Harutyunyan characterized himself as
a patriot who acted of his own volition in arranging
three months of tesifying, defendants await
"Like each Armenian, remembering Mkhitar
Sarapet's head at the feet of the Turkish pasha,
and seeing Vazgen Sargsyan's head under the rifle
butt, I also had a right to think, to express
myself (to take my revenge upon the organizers),
and I did. This idea had occurred to me, but I
rejected it. Armen Sargsyan did not give me any
orders," Lyova Harutyunyan said.
Lyova Harutyunyan's attorney petitioned the court
to drop charges against his client and set him
John Harutyunyan's attorney lauded his client's
"sincerity and honesty". Hartuyunyan
himself told the court he is "ready to face
Defendant Samvel Abrahamyan, appealed for sympathy
on the basis of his and fellow defendants' war
"If our nation had at least one victory
during its whole history, the victory was earned
thanks to us and boys like us. Nobody has mentioned
during the debates that the first tank during
the heroic battles was blown up by (defendant)
Felix Arustamyan, or that John Harutyunyan is
a hero, who was wounded, and is now taking care
of his and his perished brother's family,"
said Abrahamyan who was a commander of Arustamyan
and Harutyunyan's unit during the war in Karabakh.
Karine Naghdalyan turned to the defendants:
"I would like to turn to the criminals,"
she said. "They can use all the means to
justify themselves, but they can't use their children.
As to the defense of their homeland, it is the
sacred duty of each Armenian man."
Nagahdalyan's father and sister are not
pleased with the proposed light sentences.
Armen Sargsyan's attorney, Amalya Avagyan, said
there were numerous violations during the court
sessions, and attorney Robert Grigoryan rebutted
the prosecution's argument that Sargsyan wanted
Naghdalyan dead because Naghdalyan had mocked
Sargsyan's dead brother, Vazgen, the Prime Minister
who was killed in the October 27, 1999 parliament
Among the courtroom drama as last statements
were heard Tuesday, was Armen Sargsyan's self-defense
speech. Turning to Naghdalyan's family, he swore
an oath that, in Armenia, supercedes legal binds
in the minds of many.
"If I have ever expressed my dissatisfaction
to Lyova Harutyunyan or Hovhannes Hovhannisyan
of Tigran Naghdalyan's programs, or of him showing
the film shots of the 27th and mocking my brother,
if I have ever ordered, asked or offered to kill
Tigran Naghdalyan, may my 14 year-old son share
his destiny," said the excited Sargsyan.
Finally, Sargsyan in essence told the court that
he agrees with Karine Naghdalyan that a 15-year
sentence is not sufficient for the guilty, even
if that includes him.
"I ask the court to deeply and in details
study the facts," he said, "and if I
am found to be guilty in ordering Tigran Naghdalyan's
murder, then the victim is right - the one who
gave the murder order deserves a life sentence".
here for previous stories on the case.