Because of Razgildeyev not being brought to the Court, representatives of J. Ghukasyan’s legal successor, namely, HCA Vanadzor Chairman Artur Sakunts, HCA Vanadzor advocates Arayik Zalyan and Hayk Hakobyan, cease their participation in court sessions until implementation of Criminal Procedure Code provisions is ensured.
A. Razgildeyev, defendant in the case of Julieta Ghukasyan - killed in Gyumri on 2 December 2018 - and a serviceman of Russian 102nd military base, continues participating in court sessions remotely, being in the territory of the Russian base.
Though representatives of J. Ghukasyan’s legal successor, namely, HCA Vanadzor Chairman Artur Sakunts, HCA Vanadzor advocates Arayik Zalyan and Hayk Hakobyan, have declared many times that the Court thus violates Criminal Procedure Code norms, Judge A. Ghukasyan does not consider it a violation. In response to claims of representatives of J. Ghukasyan’s legal successor, the Judge refers to the decision of the RA Supreme Judicial Council, which establishes pandemic-related rules. Whereas, the decision of the Supreme Judicial Council is not considered a legal act establishing trial procedure. Moreover, Article 302 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly sets, “Court trial is held in the presence of the defendant whose attendance of the court is mandatory”.
Judge Adrine Ghukasyan ignores this provision and makes a reference to more subordinate legal acts. The thing is that before that the command staff of the Russian 102nd military base required to ensure security measures for A. Razgildeyev, then required that court sessions be held in the territory of the military base, after which they petitioned to hold court sessions remotely. Judge A. Ghukasyan seems to have found the solution: in essence, the examination of the case started, yet Criminal Procedure Code was violated.
In connection with the conduct of the Judge, on 16 April 2021, Artur Sakunts, Arayik Zalyan and Hayk Hakobyan submitted a report to RA Minister of Justice Rustam Badasyan, claiming to hold the Judge disciplinarily liable.
On April 19, instead of the Minister, Head of the Control Service of the RA Ministry of Justice Davit Gasparyan responded to this report. It should be mentioned that according to the law, the Minister was supposed to either refuse or initiate proceedings against the Judge. Yet, none of this happened. Instead, the Head of the Control Service assured those who made the report that it would be possible to assess the Judge’s action only after a final judicial act was provided. Whereas, the report concerned the Judge’s current activity and assessing her action is especially important at this stage.
It turns out that Judge Adrine Ghukasyan carries out this illegal activity due to the inaction or direct permission of the RA authorities.
Back in January 2021, HCA Vanadzor Chairman Artur Sakunts applied to the President of SJC in order to get clarifications around the aforementioned decision. Head of the RA Judicial Department Karen Poladyan responded to the inquiry. However, he did not provide any essential clarification. He mentioned that irrespective of the decision, the format of the court session is up to the Judge. Whereas, K. Poladyan considered out of the scope of the Judicial Department’s powers the fact that the mentioned decision was in contrast with the RA legislation.
Actually, on the one hand, decision-makers refuse to comment how that matter should be solved in case of a contrast and leave that up to the Judge, and on the other hand, the Minister of Justice does not use his powers and his inaction contributes to the continuity of the Judge’s illegal actions.
Taking all this into account, representatives of J. Ghukasyan’s legal successor informed that in the created situation, they cease their participation in court sessions until implementation of Criminal Procedure Code provisions is ensured.