“The presumption of innocence can be violated by everyone who neglects the presence of the verdict made by the Judicial System, and announces prior to the verdict that the person is guilty in something. In such cases we have violation of the presumption of innocence” – lawyer Vahe Hovhannisyan informed about this. He told us that until verdict comes into force, and there is no proven guilt in a distinct crime, we cannot say that the person is guilty.
Mr. Hovhannisyan is sure that if the presumption of innocence is broken in everyday situations or in some examples, it can be considered just a conversation. But if is made by an official, we can treat it another way and give a corresponding legal qualification.
When the presumption of innocence is publicly violated, some consequences arise and there can be a question about slander in such conditions “If we blame somebody in committing a crime, we have to prove it and present a document, and in case of not having a proof we can get into an unpleasant situation which can bring to slander,” Mr. Hovhannisyan said.
According to Mr. Hovhannisyan, in order not to break the presumption of innocence, first of all, we have to raise the level of the legal consciousness in the society. “We have to explain people that unless we have no legal act that has proven the guilt of the people, we cannot state that they are guilty in committing a crime”.
At the end of the conversation Mr. Hovhannisyan added “As long as the person is suspect, he cannot be considered guilty”.
As you know, according to the RA Constitution, the suspect or guilty in committing a crime is considered innocent unless his/her guilt is not proven by norms determined by the Code and the verdict made by the Court.