Defense counsel insists that young men charged with theft were forced to provide self-confession testimony; the case is in court (video)11:36, October 20, 2017 | News, Own news | Right to be free from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment
T. Grigoryan and Z. Naslyan were arrested and then detained on charges of committing a theft in July, 2017 and currently are kept at ‘Vanadzor’ penitentiary facilities. The charges are based on their self-confession testimonies which the accused later denied.
Later, on July 31, 2017 attorney Karine Gasparyan was involved as a defense counsel in the criminal proceedings as Z. Naslyan and T. Grigoryan requested her to defend them in court and told her that they had given their self-confession testimonies under pressure by Spitak police officers. According to the accused, they suffered physical violence and psychological pressure at the police.
Before, Z. Naslyan’s brother was apprehended and detained at the police station for 2 days, 4 and 3 hours, respectively, so that Z. Naslyan appeared before the police. On the following day, Z. Naslyan’s brother was released only after Z. Naslyan and T. Grigoryan appeared before the police. Moreover, despite the fact that they appeared before the police voluntarily, the police officers drafted an apprehension report the decision on their arrest was made only after keeping them at the police station for over 8 hours.
Defense counsel K. Gasparyan mentions that there is no evidence of her clients’ guilt in the criminal case and the charges brought against them were based on assumptions. The defense counsel filed several applications with the RA Lori Marz (Region) Prosecutor’s Office to terminate criminal prosecution against T. Grigoryan and Z. Naslyan and release them on such grounds, but the regional prosecutor’s office insisted that “the prosecution assessed the evidence obtained through the preliminary investigation sufficient and the criminal case was therefore sent to the court.”
Accused Z. Naslyan also filed a recusal motion against investigator A. Yeghiazaryan, but the recusal motion was rejected too. Here, it is noteworthy to cite the comment of A. Mukoyan, prosecutor at Lori Marz (Region) Prosecutor’s Office: “If Z. Naslyan indeed faced any pressure or compulsion on the part of the investigator, he was not constrained and was free to report that during the consideration of the motion in court or to ‘Vanadzor’ penitentiary facilities officers on his way to or while he was kept at the penitentiary facilities.”
Moreover, the defense counsel was given only 1 day to get familiar with the criminal case files, September 24, 2017 that was Sunday, whereas taking into account the volume of the criminal case, she asked for 3 business days.
On September 26, 2017, the criminal case and the indictment were sent to the General Jurisdiction Court of RA Lori Marz (Region). Defense counsel K. Gasparyan expresses her concerns over the hastiness in the proceedings.
On October 18, 2017 the defense party filed during examination of the case at the General Jurisdiction Court of Lori Marz a recusal motion against A. Mukoyan, prosecutor supervising the proceedings, but judge L. Abgaryan rejected the motion and postponed the court hearing till November 20. As the business day was over, the defense party had no time to file with the court a motion against the decision on extending the detention of the defendants. They will remain in custody for another month.
See the video for details.