Narek Aleksanyan

Appellate Court Rejects Removal of Pre-Trial Detention for HAK Activist

Armenia's Criminal Appellate Court today rejected a motion to replace the pre-trial detention of Armenian National Congress (HAK) activist Tigran Arakelyan with a personal affidavit guaranteeing he would not flee the country.

The court issued the rejection even though 110 prominent citizens signed the affidavit which obliged them to pay upwards of 500,000 AMD as a sign of good faith. The money would be returned to them after the trial.

Tigran Arakelyan and three other HAK activists were sentenced to terms ranging from two to six years on charges of “hooliganism” due to a scuffle with police on August 9, 2011. Arakelyan was sentenced to six years and has been detained since.

The Criminal Appellate Court dismissed their appeals in November, 2013, but in May of this year the Court pf Cassation overturned the decision and ordered a retrial.

When the court issued its verdict, supporters of Arakelyan broke out in boos and cat-calls.