On 12 March, during the court hearing at the Criminal Court of Appeal, Vazgen Khachikyan, former head of the State Social Security Service of Armenia, asked the court to make judgment taking into account the attenuating circumstances. He said that he had nothing else to add.
During the past session Vazgen Khachikyan said that the defense will provide its position on the restoration of the damage and return of the money by 12 March.
Judge Gagik Avetisyan addressed the defendants and suggested that if there were volunteers who wanted to return the appropriated sums, they could transfer it to the account of the state budget, and it would be considered as attenuating circumstance. The judge added that in case of their acquittal the money would be returned.
Hovhannes Grigoryan’s defender Ara Zakaryan was against that suggestion. He stated that such action cast doubts on the impartiality of the court. The advocate made a motion asking the court to invite those persons that had not been questioned in the First Instance Court.
The defender noted that most of those people had given testimony favorable to the defense, but the First instance court did not examine their testimonies, did not use them, and did not evaluate them as defense evidence. The defenders and defendants in the case joined to this motion as well.
Only the prosecutor opposed to this stating that he had already introduced it to the court and said why it shouldn’t be accepted.
The court decided to delay the session till 20 March, during which they would discuss the motion.