Courts in Armenia have extended the pre-trial detention of 13 citizens arrested last November in the Shant Harutyunyan case from one to two months.
They have already spent six months behind bars. The police department’s investigative unit had asked for the measure.
Ara Zakaryan, a member of Armenia’s Chamber of Advocates who nis defending two of the thirteen, told Hetq that the pre-trial detention of reporter Tigran Petrosyan had been extended by one month and that of Artsakh War vet by two months.
Zakaryan lambasted the judges involved, labeling them robed notaries rather than judges. He added that the judges blindly sustained the motions of the investigative team.
Zakaryan noted that according to Article 138, Part 4, of Armenia’s Criminal Procedure Code the term of the detainment of the accused at the time of a pre-trial criminal case may be extended up to 6 months, due to the complexity of the case, and up to one year for very serious crimes.
“In other words, even before the case gets to trial, my clients and the others should not spend more than six months in detention,” said Zakaryan, adding that bail for the two was refused.
Zakaryan will appeal the decision to extend the pre-trial detention term.
All the defendants had originally been charged with “violence against a representative of authority”, which was later changed to “hooliganism”.
Most of the thirteen are being represented by public defenders.
Top Photo: Ara Zakaryan
Second Photo: Tigran Petrosyan