Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The decision obliging to eliminate violations of life-sentenced convict Artur Kocharyan’s rights to remain in force

July 7, 2021

Artur Kocharyan | Activities | Legal Support | Legal Support | Right to Freedom from Torture | Publications | News

The Appeal Court refused the appeal of A. Muradyan, senior prosecutor at the Department of Supervision over Legality of Pre-trial Proceedings in the RA SIS, to subject to judicial review  the decision of Yerevan city General Jurisdiction Court on eliminating violations of Artur Kocharyan’s rights. 


HCA Vanadzor advocates Ani Chatinyan and Arayik Zalyan have undertaken the protection of A. Kocharyan’s rights.


Let us recall that back on 21 September 2004, after finding his fellow serviceman Artur Mesropyan’s corpse, A. Kocharyan was transferred to the military detention facility in Stepanakert, where military police workers beat him with a stick and a rubber truncheon, demanding to give testimony in the frame of the case of A. Mesropyan’s murder. In October, he was transferred to the RA MoD Military Police Department, where he was again subjected to violence and required to write a testimony as dictated by the investigator, which A. Kocharyan refused to do.  Later, on 3 November 2004, A. Kocharyan and a few servicemen were detained and on November 5, they were arrested and involved in A. Mesropyan’s murder case as accused.  


Throughout the investigation of the case, Artur Kocharyan and a few servicemen noted that they had been subjected to violence, and yet, that condition was not duly addressed.


Nonetheless, on 5 November 2018, a criminal case was initiated on abuse of office accompanied with violence by officials conducting state service. In the frame of this case, A. Kocharyan was recognized as the victim.


However, on 14 October 2019, the RA Special Investigation Service made a decision “On not implementing criminal prosecution and discontinuing criminal proceeding” and no criminal prosecution was implemented against military police workers. The decision was appealed to the Prosecutor and rejected.


On 28 August 2020, Yerevan city General Jurisdiction Court of First Instance upheld Ani Chatinyan and Arayik Zalyan’s appeal and obliged the body conducting the proceedings to eliminate the recorded violations of A. Kocharyan’s rights. 


On 19 November 2020, prosecutor A.Muradyan appealed that decision. 


In response to the appeal, A. Kocharyan’s defenders Ani Chatinyan and Arayik Zalyan consider  that the court’s decision is legal and grounded and the appeal is subject to rejection, since non-conduction of forensic psychological examination indicates incompleteness of the investigation; besides, it should be mentioned that the body conducting the proceedings did not take all the steps, many testimonies were not adequately assessed, which would allow for obtaining new evidence crucial for the case.


In respect of the appeal, the Appeal Court recorded a few facts. First of all, according to Article 17 of the RA Criminal Procedure Code, the investigation must be conducted comprehensively, while in this case, the body conducting the investigation did not conduct complete investigation, did not take into account Artur Kocharyan’s testimonies regarding being subjected to torture, and as a result, his rights were violated. The Court also attached importance to implementation of psychological examination, which was omitted during the investigation into the case. Moreover, the appeal is comprised more of evaluative approaches rather than factual grounds: the Court of First Instance made a judicial act which correctly resolves the case. This means that the decision of the Court of First Instance is legal and grounded, while the arguments presented in the appeal are not enough to overturn the judicial act. Taking all this into account, the Appeal Court rejected prosecutor A. Muradyan’s appeal.  


Torture cases are not duly addressed and this entails continual violations of human rights: testimonies on use of violence are not taken into account and evidence crucial for the protection of human rights is ignored during the investigation.

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