“Court’s ruling on Anzor Karapetyan’s case is not justified”; the Court of Appeals provided grounds16:18, January 27, 2017 | News, Own news | Right to Fair Trial
On January 10, 2016, the Court of Criminal Appeals granted the appeal of Ani Chatinyan, representative of victim’s successor and lawyer at HCA Vanadzor, against the decree of the Armavir Marz (region) Investigative Department of the RA Investigative Committee of April 26, 2016 on discontinuing the criminal proceedings on the case and not prosecuting the other persons involved in the fight with Anzor Karapetyan on December 31, 2015.
Note that on December 31, 2015, after the fight with Anzor Karapetyan involved in Armavir town, he presented himself to the police voluntarily and was then arrested.
A. Karapetyan was charged under Article 34-104 (attempted murder) of the RA Criminal Code.
On January 3, 2016, in the evening, A. Karapetyan was detained by a court ruling and transferred at night to Armavir Penitentiary, where some hours later he was found dead.
On March 10, 2016, criminal prosecution against Anzor Karapetyan was terminated based on his death and considering the injuries sustained by Anzor Karapetyan during the fight, on the same day the investigative body decided to declare him a victim and by its decree of April 26, 2016 it decided to discontinue the criminal proceedings.
The first instance court rejected the appeal against the decree of the investigating body on the pretext of its being groundless and qualified the actions of the other fight participants as necessary defense not considered a crime.
However, the Court of Appeals sees no grounds for such a conclusion. The Court invokes the precedent rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, RA Constitutional Court and RA Cassation Court and states that the first instance court’s ruling is not justified and is based on abstract judgments: “no argument was brought in support of the conclusions in the judicial act”, which makes it impossible to conduct a complete judicial review of the legality and validity of the appealed judicial act.
On this basis, the Court of Appeals does not consider it necessary to examine as well the violations of the rights and freedoms mentioned in the appeal by stating that they may be considered only after the procedural violations above are eliminated.
The representative of Anzor Karapetyan’s successor observed that as a rule, first instance courts make unreasoned rulings on cases of pre-trial supervision and give legal force to the decrees made by investigating agencies in violation of the rights of the participants of the proceedings (in most cases, victims).
However, in this case, given the violation of the procedural right, the Court of Appeals found it impossible to consider the breach of substantive law and reversed the appealed act stating that the first instance court should make a reasoned ruling.
Note that the submitted appeal contained some observations that the investigating body obtained evidence only on the fact that Anzor Karapetyan stabbed a few persons and no efficient measures were taken to examine the causes of his own injuries. Moreover, given contradictory evidence, the investigating body considered trustworthy only the testimonies of the other participants of the fight whereas they were questioned after Anzor Karapetyan’s death and had an opportunity to conform their testimonies. Also, the investigating body took no measures to identify and question the police officers who approached them during the fight.