Closing arguments have begun in the trial of
Nairi Hunanyan, accused of the October 27, 1999
killings in Parliament. ArmeniaNow correspondents
Tamara Hovnatanyan and Anna Satyan asked deputies
of the National Assembly (NA) to give their views
of the proceedings. During these years, some have
sat in the court room to follow the trial, others
could not for fear they would be unable to control
themselves on seeing the accused.
Grigor Harutyunyan, member of the administration
of People's Party of Armenia, had been attending
court sessions regularly for three years.
"Attending court sessions was an ordeal
for me," says Harutyunyan. "Every time
when I am in the court room I face stress. However,
deputies must attend court sessions, if only so
as to not allow the defendant to become more and
"Me and lawyer Ashot Sargsyan, who represents
the interests of Demirchyan's family, believe
that the trial has turned into farce. The trial
is now in the stage when it cannot be finished.
Nevertheless, the trial draws to a close. It happened
because the number of people summoned to court
was sharply decreased. This was explained by the
fact that the court has sufficient testimonies
and new witnesses would only delay the trial.
However, nobody was worried about delaying the
trial when it was postponed for six months during
the period of elections.
"When I consider Hunanyan's conduct I become
convinced of only one thing, that there were other
conspirators. But who? This question remains open."
Hrant Khachatryan, party-leader for the Union
of Constitutional Right, believes that it was
illogical to remove the part of the case concerning
conspirators for supplementary investigation.
"Unfortunately, from the beginning it was
clear for me that our judicial system wouldn't
manage such a serious case. The system cannot
at once, all of a sudden become better than the
standards to which it got used to. When I hear
what people say during the trial, I don't talk
about lawyers as they are dependant people, they
depend on those who hired them, I'm talking about
prosecutors, people representing the authorities,
I feel embarrassed about their professional level,"
Victor Dallakyan, secretary of Ardarutiun (Justice)
bloc, believes that not just politicians were
shot in 1999 but national institutes.
"I negatively perceive the fact that several
important witnesses, who flew abroad after October
27, were not summoned to court. And it makes me
think that those people could possess information
on the case," says Dallakyan.
Galust Sahakyan, leader of the Republican Party
of Armenia fraction, hopes to get answers to questions
bothering him at the end of trial.
"That day I was in Parliament and my two
friends sitting next to me died. When I heard
screams and cursing first I thought it was a joke
or hoax. Immediately, the self-preservation instinct
worked - to get out. I should say that the incident
had its influence on the mentality and health
of many deputies. It was hard especially for those
who had stayed in the hall till the end and whose
close friends had been killed."
Hmayak Hovhannisyan, member of the National Unity
fraction, believes that both investigation and
trial have turned into farce.
"There is a feeling that Nairi Hunanyan
leads and controls the entire trial," he
says. "Whoever Hunanyan points at that person
is brought to responsibility. By the way I was
the first person whom he pointed at and shouted
out that day, 'why are you scared, you robbed
nobody and you lied to nobody'. So we can make
a conclusion that since the very first minute
the murderer entrapped us into making wrong decisions
by his shouts and statements."
Armen Rustamyan, member of the supreme body of
the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutiun,
believes that investigative authorities have a
definite political disposition.
"I have a feeling that the court won't answer
every question. However, I would like very much
that there not be any doubts, especially concerning
the question of whether or not there were conspirators
in this incident. Some people have just privatized
this case during this period, believing that only
they have a right to talk about anything connected
with the shooting in the Parliament and that only
they are victims in this story. But who says that
these political circles are not under suspicion
if they declared themselves victims? The trial
must be so transparent and truthful that all possibilities
should be taken into consideration," believes
"And now we afforded Hunanyan an opportunity
to become a soloist. By politicizing the trial
we gave him all possibilities."