defendant makes his case in court..
Former National Security Service lieutenant colonel
Levon Abrahamyan has been sentenced to six years
in prison for conspiracy to commit murder last
September of Minister of Defense Serj Sargsyan.
After five court sessions, Judge Ruben Nersisyan
found Abrahamyan guilty of trying to kill Sargsyan
by blowing up the Minister's car. Abrahamyan was
caught with an associate, Araik Narimanyan, possessing
explosives believed to be destined for Sargsyan's
car. (Sargsyan was out of the area at the time.)
Aassociates testified that Abrahamyan had planned
to kill Sargsyan as revenge for conflicts between
the two when Abrahamyan served under Sargsyan
at the National Security Ministry. In 1998 Abrahamyan
was sentenced to eight years in prison for another
crime. He was given a presidential pardon in June
A prison mate, Narimanyan, testified that Abrahamyan
had planned to murder Sargsyan. Narimanyan had
informed authorities, who subsequently secretly
recorded and videotaped Narimanyan and Abrahamyan
Abrahamyan did not deny a murder plot, however
he insisted that Narimanyan was the organizer.
Defense attorney Marina Janoyan argued that evidence
against Abrahamyan came from only one source,
and that the electronic surveillance was illegal
since the measures were taken before any criminal
charges were brought.
Abrahamyan testified that when he was taken custody
on September 15, the head of the investigation
department of the General Prosecutor's Office,
Andranik Mirzoyan "was exhorting me to tell
that there were people who ordered me to organize
the murder." Abrahamyan said the prosecutor
offered to "put in a good word for me"
if he implicated others, claiming that Mirzoyan
said: "If it becomes clear that you did it
alone then you will be skinned alive and your
family will be subjected to repressions."
Specifically, he says he was encouraged to implicate
oppositional party leader Artashes Geghamyan.
Latter Geghamyan, leader of the National Unity
party, responded to the testimony:
"Attempted murder against Serj Sargsyan
was organized by authorities with the prefabricated
purpose of shuffling off the blame on to me,"
the one-time presidential candidate said.
"When we carefully analyze what had happened
with Samvel Babayan (serving time for attempted
murder of NKR president Araky Ghoukayan), Tigran
Naghdalyan and Levon Abrahamyan, then we come
to a simple conclusion that Robert Kocharyan and
Serj Sargsyan stand behind all these incidents.
They sent people who committed these crimes and
perpetrators are their agents."