Today, at the hearing of the case “Shant harutyunyan and others”, the Advocate Inessa Petrosyan the defender of Shant Harutyunyan’s, Vardan Vardanyan’s and juvenile Shahen Harutyunyan’s rights filed a petition to include the record of President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech in the criminal case.
On 23 September 2014, Serzh Sargsyan was on a working visit in the US to participate in the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. During the visit the President in his speech referred to Shant Harutyunyan mentioned that the latter and his friends had committed a crime and should be punished.
The advocate said, “I ask the court to reproduce the Drive Flash Data Carrier and analyze it as evidence.” The Prosecution objected saying that the video on the Flash Carrier did not justify the defendant’s relation with the crime.
The Court decided to reject Inessa Petrosyan’s petition. Just after that the advocate solicited to invite Serzh Sargsyan to the court for questioning. “It is obvious that the President’s opinion, and position was aground for the First Instance Court to rule a sentence. Let him come to the court and explain his words,” Ms Petrosyan said. Another lawyer, Ara Zakaryan joined the petition, adding that the court’s decision depends on the answer to the question whether the Court of Appeal is independent of the government.
The Prosecutor objected, “In fact this is a similar motion and does not refer to the case.”
The court again rejected the motion. Shant harutyunyan filed a motion as well and his motion turned into a political statement. The presiding judge Arshak Khachatryan tried to put an end to this action asking him to take his place. But Shant Harutyunyan continued his statement blaming Serzh Sargsyan. “What disease was this that he started the fight?” Arshak Khachatryan said angrily.
A few minutes the judges and Shant Harutyunyan argued. Arshak Khachatryan failed to silence the defendant, and he announced the end of the hearing through the noise of the court saying that he was going to the retiring room. He also announced a wrong day: January 2 for publicizing the judgment.