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Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Supporters Demand Access: Judge in Hayk Kyureghyan Trial Calls Postponement

The trial of Hayk Kyureghyan, detained for over a year for discharging an air pistol in the direction of the police on July 12, 2014, ended almost as soon as it started today after his supporters raised a ruckus about not being able to attend the proceedings at Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Court.

The trial, scheduled to begin at noon, was delayed several times.

The first mix-up occurred when the defendant wasn’t ushered in to the courtroom along with the police who had escorted him from the Noubarashen Correctional Facility.

Kyureghyan supporters then demanded that the defendant be brought in and Judge Armen Bektashian called a five minute recess.

Court bailiffs then announced that the courtroom was experiencing technical problems regarding the sound system and ordered everyone downstairs to another room.

This courtroom was so tiny that only 2-3 supporters and a handful of reporters were able to cram into the room.

Kyureghyan’s supporters demanded that they be afforded their right to be present at the open door trial and Judge Armen Bektashian had no other alternative but to reschedule the trial till 3pm.

Kyureghyan is charged with hooliganism and using force against a representative of the state (RA Criminal Code Articles 258 and 316) in an incident that occurred on July 12 of last year during a trial of Shant Haroutyunyan and friends.

The state prosecutor has called for Kyureghyan to be sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

Update: When the trial recommenced neither Kyureghyan’s supporters nor the defendant’s father were allowed into the courtroom.

Armenak Kyureghyan,Hayk's father, told Hetq that the court wished to silence any public response to the trial and that the argument that supporters were disturbing the court process was merely a smokescreen.

In a statement in his defense, Hayk Kyureghyan recalled that Serzh Sargsyan had declared at the last election that he could “strike out at anyone he pleased”.

“I will not be hit this time. I will not sit in prison for 14 years. Those concerned for me should not worry. My spirit of resistance has not waned. I am convinced that I will not sit in prison for 14 years because this regime might not even last for 14 days,” Kyureghyan said.

With that, Judge Bektashian left the courtroom.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 15.