Once again, Razgildeyev did not appear in court. Representatives of the victim’s legal successor demand to make a petition to the RA Prosecutor General’s Office to initiate a criminal case against the commander of Russian military base N 102, since he hinders administration of justice.
Russian military base N 102 serviceman A. Razgildeyev, who is the defendant in the case of Julieta Ghukasyan, murdered in Gyumri on 2 December 2018, continues participating in court hearings remotely from the territory of the Russian base. While representatives of J. Ghukasyan’s successor’s interests, namely, HCAV Chairman Artur Sakunts and HCAV advocate Hayk Hakobyan, as well as advocate Arayik Zalyan - who was involved in the case at that time - have declared many times that the Court thus violates norms of the Criminal Procedure Code, judges A.Ghukasyan and N.Beglaryan do not consider it a violation.
Since Razgildeyev did not come to court, representatives of J.Ghukasyan’s legal successor suspended their participation in court hearings from April 2022 until provisions of Criminal Procedure Code are ensured.
The last court hearing of the case took place on October 24. For the third time during the investigation of the case, the case was assigned to a new judge, and the hearing was scheduled in Maralik residence of Shirak region General Jurisdiction Court. Upon assigning a new judge, the trial examination of the case resumes, and the issue of ensuring the defendant’s participation in court hearings is again on the agenda.
The command staff of the military base and Razgildeyev himself made a petition to the court to organize participation in the court hearing via video communication. The prosecutor and the defense were of the opinion that it was possible to ensure participation through video communication, while HCAV advocate Hayk Hakobyan, representing the interests of J.Ghukasyan’s successor, objected. He reiterated earlier statements that not bringing the defendant to court amounts to a violation of the Criminal Procedure Code, “Judicial examination is conducted with the participation of the defendant, whose appearance in court is mandatory”.
Noteworthy, the head of the military base put forth various arguments for not bringing Razgildeyev to court. On 18 June 2020, the command staff of the military base requested the court to hold the court hearing on the military base territory or remotely, invoking the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country, “With the purpose of ensuring safety of trial participants and others, we suggest that the judicial process be conducted on the base territory with the use of video communication”.
Further, on 3 August of the same year, a petition was made to court on behalf of Razgildeyev, which invoked the pandemic and safety issues, noting, “I am concerned about my life and health, and find that should the criminal case against me be investigated in the court of Shirak region, my, witnesses’, as well as Russian guard servicemen’s security will not be fully ensured. It will be safer to investigate the case in the territory of the base or through video communication”.
Later, the command staff of the military base repeatedly reaffirmed this position by bringing various arguments. This plethora of ungrounded arguments indicates that the commander of the military base displays a totally arbitrary and disrespectful attitude towards the Armenian court.
HCAV also lodged an application before the ECHR on the ground that the state does not ensure effective investigation into the violation of the right to life.
In response to the court’s question, Hayk Hakobyan mentioned that this violates the victim’s successor’s right to a fair trial, right to effective judicial protection of rights and freedoms, right to have the case examined fairly and within reasonable terms, and in addition, grounds of adversarial hearings, and legal equality of the parties. The advocate also notes that the court needs to take actions to eliminate obstacles to administration of justice in the criminal case, i.e., he made a petition to the RA Prosecutor General’s Office to initiate a criminal case against the commander of the Russian military base N 102, since the defendant is not brought to court as a result of unlawful conduct of the commander of military base N 102 (i.e., the commander does not comply with the court’s lawful requirement regarding bringing the defendant to court).
The court hearing and the discussion of the petition was postponed due to the absence of the defendant.
The next court hearing is to be held in Gyumri residence, since Maralik residence is not equipped with the relevant means for organizing the hearing through video communication.