Zhirair Sefilyan. Photo: RFE/RL

14 June 2017, 04:08

Defence claims biased court's attitude towards defendants in Zhirair Sefilyan's case

The trial in the case against Zhirair Sefilyan, the leader of the Armenian movement "100th anniversary without regime", and six other defendants has been started in a tense situation.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in June 2016, Zhirair Sefilyan was detained on the charge of organizing illegal transportation and storage of weapons. In November, investigators charged him with preparations for seizure of a building. Meanwhile, in May 2015, a case was instituted against Zhirair Sefilyan and four members of the opposition "Constituent Parliament" for plotting mass riots.

In July 2016, the unit "Sasna Tsrer" (Daredevils of Sassoun), a group of Zhirair Sefilyan's supporters, held the building of the police regiment in Yerevan for two weeks, demanding to release Zhirair Sefilyan. On July 31, the rebels surrendered to the police.

The case against the leader of the Armenian opposition is being considered at a unique courtroom with a thick glass partition separating participants of the trial from the audience, including journalists. At the same courtroom, the court earlier considered the "Case of Seven" against oppositionists accused of attempting to violent overthrow the authorities.

The court building itself stayed under the strong control of the police.

The trial began with the motion of Araik Papikyan, an advocate of Nerses Poghosyan, on the recusal of Tatevik Grigoryan, the chairing judge. Araik Papikyan expressed his doubts about the impartiality of the judge.

The judge dismissed the advocate's motion.

Advocate Tigran Airapetyan treats the case against Zhirair Sefilyan as political, and the charge as "extremely vague."

The next court session will be held on June 27.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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