Vardan Petrosyan’s Case: One Verdict – Different Interpretations

On 29 January, Vaghinak Mkrtchyan, judge of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kotayk marz publicized the verdict on Vardan Petrosyan’s case. The latter was sentenced to 5 years in prison. In this regard, talked to the actor’s lawyer Nikolay Baghdasaryan and the victim’s attorney Ruben Baloyan.

According to Nikolay Baghdasaryan, 29 January judgment of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kotayk marz, gave a situational solution of the problem: Details in the interview.

How would you describe the court’s decision?

They gave a situational solution: neither we nor you. They created a situation so that if Vardan Petrosyan does not appeal then he will come out. On the other hand the judicial act does not satisfy us completely, as we are sure that the accident occurred on the busy part of the roadway. This is a tactical problem and we shall prove this in other court processes and we shall invalidate the judgment.:

Please specify what tactics are you talking about?

We have initiated other court processes at the European Court, the Constitutional Court, and Special Investigation Service. Our objective is to achieve results in the courts. This means that we are in the final stage, speaking figuratively, we allowed the troops to come into our field and then will surround them.DSC01440

What are the expectations and the terms you intend to achieve them?:

In the nearest future. We had applied to the European Court earlier. We shall receive a decision, which will state violation of Article 5 of the Convention, according to it Vardan Petrosyan was deprived of liberty illegally. We force to receive an internal examination from the Special Investigation service, despite the fact whether or no it would be denied or the criminal case is annulled or its investigation is continued. In any case we have to receive the expert opinion, which will stipulate that the accident occurred in the busy part of the road. And the Constitutional Court will make a judgment that the judge had violated the rights of the defense. Most of our complaints are accepted into procedure, and the process is at the final stage.

One of the most important focuses in Vardan Petrosyan’s case, to which the defense side focused the Court’s attention, was that the location of the crash site was changed. You presented «3D» format graphics solutions provided by the experts from three countries were assuring that scene examination was done with errors. Are there any results?

First of all, it was common practice that was widespread in former times, falsification of examination of the crime scene. There is a military saying “WE lost the battle but not the war.” What does it mean? It means that we surrendered the positions, but we shall win the war for sure, because this is a chess game, initiating trials indifferent court systems we shall oppress this verdict and achieve Vardan Petrosyan’s release.

Vardan Petrosyan victim’s attorney Ruben Baloyan in the interview with said that it was still unclear whether they would appeal the judgment of the Court of the First Instance.:

How would you describe the process of the trial and the verdict?

It was normal; I have no complaints about the trial. Except that there were some superfluous related to the victims’ behavior. At the same time, I must say that the victims were incited by some people whom I do not want to personalize. The problem is to avoid inciting them through social networks and mass media. If all this is done intentionally to make the injured party lashed out, I do not think it’s correct. There are efforts to blame the injured party for this. Vardan Petrosyan was proven guilty by the verdict. Nikolay Baghdasaryan says Vardan Petrosyan will soon come out, etc. I would argue the opposite: if after these insults the victims ask me to appeal the sentence and bring the claim, amnesty will not apply to Vardan Petrosyan, and he will stay in prison for a long time.

During the trial you were emphasizing on some episodes, specifically the version of Vardan Petrosyan being drunk and tried to prove this through the court.

41-440x293I am dissatisfied with this part, no examination had been conducted in this respect, in case of a complete examination the verdict definitely would have been another: not just 5 years, but much more. In case of drunken accident causing death sentence would be at least 8 years. This is an aggravating circumstance.

Is there any question of reconciliation?

I can ask the victims many times, but they should be willing to do. I have tried twice, but different people interpreted this against.

On one session Vardan Petrosyan had announced that he gave 20 thousand US dollars to the victims.

The amount was transferred to cover the costs for the graves of the dead children that died. 15 thousand US dollars was spent on the tombs. I think this money should never be a cause for speculation; two families lost their sons.

Interview: Gevorg Tosunyan

Photo: Aleksander Sargsyan

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