Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The Appeal Court acquitted R.D. who was accused of avoiding military service

May 9, 2019

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On November 21, 2018, the Criminal Court of Appeal acquitted R.D. who was sentenced to imprisonment under the accusation of avoiding military service.


Due to the work overload of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor, the latter involved the RA Chamber of Advocates lawyer Robert Revazyan in the protection of R.D.’s rights.


On February 23, 2016, a criminal case was initiated against R.D. under Article 327 part 1 of the RA Criminal Code. A short time later, based on the absence of delict, criminal prosecution was stopped. Later, on February 27, 2017, the RA Prosecutor General A. Davtyan eradicated the decision on stopping the criminal prosecution and the criminal prosecution against R.D. restarted.


As a result, on August 10, 2017, Yerevan city Ajabnyak and Davtashen administrative districts’ General Jurisdiction Court sentenced R.D. to imprisonment of 1 year and 6 months.


When making the judgment, the Court made several procedural violations and took only accusatory proofs as a basis for the judgment. Moreover, the Court even considered the proofs indicating the guiltlessness as accusatory ones. The Court did not check the reasons for contradictions between the testimonies of witnesses and ignored the condition of witnesses having preconceived attitude. Preconceived attitude was also applied while commenting on the conclusion of medical-forensic expertise. Instead of interpreting the undispelled doubts in favor of the defendant, they were placed in the basis of the judgment as accusatory proofs.


Based on these substantiations, R. Revazyan – the lawyer involved in the case by HCA Vanadzor- filed a complaint against the First Instance Court decision dated August 10, 2017. On November 21, 2018, having examined it for more than a year, the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment and acquitted R.D.


The Court of Appeal recorded that conviction cannot be based on conclusions or  assumptions pertaining to the possible guilt of the person. It should stem from the Court’s doctrine which cannot be arbitrary or subjective.  


The Appeal Court concluded that the proofs obtained were not sufficient to ascribe the crime envisaged under Article 327 part 1 of the RA Criminal Code to R.D. Within this context, the Court did not find it necessary to touch upon other arguments mentioned in the appeal.


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