Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Life-imprisoned convict Artur Kocharyan’s defender lodged a cassation complaint and demanded reexamination of the case

March 5, 2019

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In 2005, Artur Kocharyan was charged with murder of his fellow serviceman and was sentenced with life imprisonment. On February 25, 2019, Artur Kocharyan’s defender Arayik Zalyan –HCA Vanadzor lawyer – lodged a cassation complaint claiming reexamination of the case and applied to the RA Supreme Judicial Council to bring the judges who made the judgment to disciplinary liability.  


On October 11, 2005, Vayots Dzor General Jurisdiction Court sentenced Artur Kocharyan and a few of his fellow servicemen to life imprisonment. On July 14, 2006, the Appellate Court made changes in the judgment of the First Instance Court regarding his fellow servicemen and commuted the sentence, but left Artur Kocharyan’s punishment unchanged.


The Court of First Instance made the judgment on life imprisonment with a number of violations and the Appeal Court left the judgment unchanged without examining the facts mentioned in the complaint.  


Artur Kocharyan was sentenced to life imprisonment for an action in the commitment of which there is no evidence proving his guilt.  The Court took only one person’s testimony as a ground and that person was interested in the case. The Court did not take into account Artur Kocharyan’s statement regarding that person’s real intentions and though it is obligatory that there be objective data confirming the testimony, the Court placed that one testimony in the ground of the accusation without objective data.  


This violated Artur Kocharyan’s right to personal freedom which is enshrined in the RA Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights; a decision with no legal and factual grounds was made. The Court did not obtain credible evidence proving the guilt and made the judgment based on an imaginary contradictory testimony.


The Appeal Court, in its turn, did not examine the facts submitted with the complaint, did not pay attention to the condition of testimonies being obtained in an illegal way, statements of physical and psychological pressures and did not take measures to clarify the obtained contradictory data.


All this indicates the biased attitude of courts.


In the cassation complaint, HCA Vanadzor lawyer Arayik Zalyan claimed to overturn the decision of the RA Appeal Court of Criminal and Military  Cases dated July 14, 2006, and acquit Artur Kocharyan.


In the application submitted to the RA Supreme Judicial Council, HCA Vanadzor lawyer Arayik Zalyan claimed to initiate disciplinary proceedings and bring to liability Vayots Dzor Court judge L. Poghosyan and Appeal Court judges H. Ter-Adamyan, S. Avetisyan, S. Ghazaryan, who manifested unconscientious biased attitude.


So far, there has been no response from the Courts of Cassation or Supreme Judiciary Council.


It should be noted that the investigative group that investigated this case and the supervising Prosecutor are famous for initiating fake criminal cases. The famous “Mataghis” case, in which Arayik Zalyan, Musa Serobyan and Razmik Sargsyan were sentenced to life imprisonment and later acquitted, was also investigated by them.


You can find the RA Appeal Court of Criminal and Military Cases decision dated July 14, 2006 HERE


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