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Judge Based the Verdict on Personal Assumptions and Undispeled Doubts. Advocate

Today the RA Criminal Court of Appeals started the examination of the appeals of Liparit Simonyan and Rafik Safaryan, advocates of Ashot Arushanyan and Edgar Karakeshishyan.

Let us remind that the Court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities presided by judge Mesrop Makyan found Edgar Karakeshishyan and Ashot Arushanyan guilty by the 1st provision of the 3rd part of Article 177 of the RA Criminal Code (theft of particularly large amounts of money, envisaging 4-8 years of imprisonment) and convicted Edgar Karakeshishyan to imprisonment of 7 years and Ashot Arushanyan to 5 years and 6 months of imprisonment.

The court also satisfied the civil lawsuit of “Manana Grain” LLC to oblige a compensation of 55 mln 500 thousand AMD as a compensation for “Manana Grain” LLC for the material damage caused by the crime.

Edgar Karakeshishyan`s lawyer Rafik Safaryan stated at the court that the first instance court committed violations of judicial and material law norms while making the judgement. In particular it didn`t make a comprehensive and multi-faceted objective investigation, and the analysed evidence was not rightfully evaluated. “The verdict of the first instance court is not lawful or justified, and so it is subject to be overturned. This criminal case several requirements of the RA Constitution and Criminal Code were violated. 3 of the 4 witnesses – Karen Mkrtchyan, Araks Harutyunyan and Arthur Karakeshishyan, as well as the former defendant and now deceased Artashes Galustyanwere not questioned at the court”.

According to the advocate, Artashes Galstyan`s preliminary investigation testimonies have been put on the basis of accusation verdict (auth. during the preliminary investigation no confrontation took place between the deceased witness and defendant). The latter stated that Edgar Karakeshishyan was found guilty by the court exclusively on the basis of testimonies of witnesses who had not been questioned and of deceased former defendant Artashes Galstyan. “The judge based the verdict on his personal assumptions and undispelled doubts which should have been interpreted for the defendant and not against him”.

Rafik Safaryan called the attention of the court to the fact that it did not justify by any concrete evidence and did not state in the verdict that Edgar Karakeshishyan and Artashes Galustyan with the assistance of Ashot Arushanyan had a direct intention of stealing the money from the car of “Manana Grain” LLC. There is no such evidence on the case. As to phone calls with Artashes Galstyan, those are not proven in any way, as it is not mentioned what they talked about”.

Concluding his speech the advocate said that during both the preliminary investigation and the trial Edgar Karakeshishyan`s right to protection and the right to fair trial had been violated. “My defendant did not recognize himself guilty for the accusation. Even if we assume he committed it. Is the person who does it for the first time convicted to 7-year imprisonment? It turns out that the stricter punishment I set, the more my verdict seems lawful. One should also consider humanitarian principles while setting a punishment. This case will be overturned by the ECHR. It will be right if the Court of Appeals makes a lawful conclusion as soon as possible and ensures the presence of witnesses”.

Today`s court sitting was postponed and the next one was set on 8 August.

Arev Avagyan


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