Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Can the State not provide the presence of the accused A. Razgildeyev, Russian military base serviceman, in the court?

October 29, 2019

Activities | Legal Support | Legal Support | Project։ Stability of HCA Vanadzor in the light of democracy and human rights challenges in the Republic of Armenia 2019 | Right to life | Publications | News | Julieta Ghukasyan

On September 6, 2019, a court session on the case of A. Razgildeyev was to be held, which was, however, postponed. A. Razgildeyev is a Russian military base serviceman accused of Gyumri resident Julieta Ghukasyan’s death. 


On September 5, the accusing party, i.e. K. Gabrielyan, Shirak region Prosecutor, sent a letter to the Court asking to postpone the session due to his being on vacation. Taking into consideration a number of provisions of the RA Criminal Procedure Code, namely, the RA Criminal Procedure Code Article 23 part 8 (“Participation of the parties in the examination of a criminal case at the court is obligatory. In every criminal case, prosecution shall be represented at the trial by a prosecutor”), Article 54 part 3 (“Participation of the prosecutor in court is mandatory during consideration of criminal cases”), Article 306 part 5 (“In the case of the prosecutor’s failure to attend and when necessary to replace the latter with another prosecutor, the case is postponed”), the Court postponed the session and scheduled it on October 25, 2019. 


Let us remind that J. Ghukasyan died in December 2018 after being cruelly beaten by A. Razgildeyev, serviceman in the Russian military base No. 102. Razgildeyev was charged with Article 112 § 2 point 14 features of the RA Criminal Code (Infliction of willful heave damage to health...which caused the death of the aggrieved by negligence). 


The session appointed on October 25, 2019, was not held, either, and a relevant notification was placed in “DataLex” information system. 


The fact of the court sessions being postponed twice would not draw attention had we not recorded quite an interesting fact. According to the information system, this time K. Gabrielyan asked to postpone the court session scheduled to be held on October 25, 2019, because deputy prosecutor V. Mirzoyan, also involved in the case as the accusing party, was to participate in the regular attestation of prosecutors in the RA Prosecutor General’s office. At the same time, K.Gabrielyan also asked to consider his absence respectable. At the same time, accusing Prosecutor K. Gabrielyan did not present any substantiations with regard to him not attending or not being able to attend the court session. 


Having examined the Prosecutor’s two letters pertaining to not attending the two sessions, we made the following conclusions. 


First: it turns out that two persons are involved in the court session of Razgildeyev’s case as the accusing party and they are Prosecutor K. Gabrielyan and his deputy V. Mirzoyan. 


Second: for the postponement of the first session, K. Gabrielyan reasoned that he was on vacation without presenting any information on the possibility of the second accusing prosecutor replacing him. 


Third: Informing about the postponement of the court session for the second time via “DataLex”, Gabrielyan justifies it by the condition of the accusing prosecutor’s deputy participating in the attestation. This note is what informs us that there is a second accusing prosecutor involved. 


Let us go back to October 25 court session, where, in case the participation of the second accusing prosecutor V. Mirzoyan was impossible, K.Gabrielyan himself could have participated, taking into consideration the fact that the session was scheduled on October 25, i.e. 50 days after his vacation, which means that he was already on duty.


According to lawyer Arayik Zalyan, the reasons for both September 6 and October 25 sessions not taking place is that A. Razgildeyev is in the territory of the Russian military base instead of being transferred to the RA appropriate penitentiary institution. This impedes the provision of full, objective and comprehensive investigation established under Article 17 of the RA Criminal Procedure Code, which we have already touched upon in our previous publications.


“It is a fact that the serviceman serves in the Russian military base located in the territory of the RA and the crime was committed in the RA territory , in Gyumri, against a Gyumri resident and not in the military base territory. Therefore, our claim that the investigation be conducted in the frame of the RA procedural legislation, RA legal acts and that arbitrariness be eliminated, is absolutely legal”, says Arayik Zalyan.


It should be mentioned that on April 19, 2019, Arayik Zalyan and Hayk Hakobyan, lawyers at Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor, sent a letter to Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender, requesting to provide information on the actions taken to visit A. Razgildeyev in the Russian military base No. 102. According to the Human Rights Defender, those actions started on December 14, 2018.


On May 30, 2019, the Human Rights Defender informed in a response letter that they continued the launched discussion procedure pertaining to the fact of J. Ghukasyan’s death case, in the frame of which they had sent relevant letters to the RA Prosecutor General and Chairman of the Investigative Committee. The Human Rights Defender also informed that works were being conducted aimed at making a visit to the place of deprivation of liberty of Razgildeyev, talking to him and observing his detention conditions, which was, by the way, recommended to the Human Rights Defender by HCA Vanadzor. 


Since May 30 until now, 5 months later, the Human Rights Defender has still not responded to HCA Vanadzor lawyers’ letter. On October 25, 2019, our lawyers again sent a letter to the Human Rights Defender and requested information regarding the letters sent to the RA Prosecutor General, Chairman of the RA Investigative Committee, as well as the process of the work done with the purpose of making a visit to the place of  deprivation of liberty of Razgildeyev. 


“These contradictions may be a result of uncertainty or inability. The State, in the face of the state accusing party, probably cannot provide the accused serviceman’s (who is held in the Russian military base) presence in the court. How long are they going to postpone court sessions with such illogical justifications”, says Artur Sakunts, Chairman of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor.   


Summing up the aforementioned, that is to say, the fact that for nearly one year, the Human Rights Defender has not been able to visit and talk to Razgildeyev, who serves his sentence in the Russian military base, as well as observe his detention conditions, the fact that the state accusing party cannot provide the presence of the accused Razgildeyev in the court, our suspicions become more than substantiated. Might Andrey Razgildeyev not be presented to the RA Court or might there be negotiations held to conduct the RA court sessions in the territory of the Russian military base? 



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