After over than a year of alerts, the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally took measures to protect the rights of RA citizen convicted in Ukraine17:16, July 28, 2017 | News, Own news | Right to Fair Trial
The Ukraine Court of Cassation reversed the case of RA citizen Edgar Gevorgyan sentenced to life imprisonment in Ukraine and sent it to the court of first instance for re-examination. The reversal was based on the deprivation of the defendant of the right to an interpreter.
Edgar Gevorgyan’s sister consulted HCA Vanadzor last February. She said that she had repeatedly applied to the competent RA public bodies to protect her brother’s rights and transfer him to Armenia, but in vain. In response to HCA Vanadzor’s information inquiry, the RA Ministry of Justice explained the impossibility to transfer the convict by the over-crowdedness of the penitentiary facilities. But the RA MoJ Penitentiary Department denied the over-crowdedness of the lifers’ cells. Then on August 19, 2016 the Organization applied to the Ministry of Justice on the same matter for the 2nd time. This time, the Ministry explained the impossibility to transfer the convict by his financial obligations to Ukraine as set under the judgment.
At the same time, the Organization also applied to the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs expecting that it would coordinate translation from Ukrainian into Russian of the criminal case files and potential intervention with court representation by the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry stated that the court rejected the application of the RA Embassy in Ukraine on translating the criminal case materials from Ukrainian into Russian due to insufficient funds. They also noted that the RA Embassy’s representative did not attend the Cassation Court hearings as he was not notified of the date of such hearing. Then, the Organization sent the 3rd inquiry to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting information on whether the RA could provide funds for translation of the criminal case files and if no, for what reasons.
Having received no answer, a month later HCA Vanadzor again applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and demanded that the RA Foreign Minister intervened in ensuring that the criminal case files were provided to E. Gevorgyan in a language he could understand and stated that though he had not got any translation of the criminal case files, he was transferred to another penitentiary facilities in Ukraine.
Having received no response from the Foreign Ministry for another 4 months, on January 27 and then on April 27, 2017 HCA Vanadzor once again applied to the Foreign Ministry with the same issue. Before, the Ministry stated that they were waiting for the response of the RA Embassy in Ukraine.
The last time HCA Vanadzor applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 12, 2017 and exactly indicated the date and time of the court hearing. The Organization also requested information on the possibility to ensure that an RA Embassy representative attended the court hearing.
A few days ago, we were informed that the representative of the RA Embassy in Ukraine attended the court hearing of July 19, 2017 when the Ukraine Court of Cassation reversed the first instance court’s judgment based on the failure to provide the defendant with an interpreter and sent the case to re-examination.