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YEREVAN. - Former commander of the Artsakh Defense Army, Samvel Babayan, who is currently in custody, on Thursday personally attended the consideration of the appeal of the first instance court decision on his arrest.

His attorney, Avetis Kalashyan, told journalists that Babayan noted in the court that he doesn’t confess to the charge brought against him, considering it ungrounded. According to the attorney, Samvel Babayan requested the court to render a just judgment.

“He also thinks that his arrest is ungrounded and [thus] requested the court to render a just judgment.  Babayan noted that he didn’t engage in such a deed, was an Artsakh hero and if he didn’t escape during the war, then he won’t escape now either. Both the prosecutor and the investigator opposed, noting that the decision of the first instance court is legitimate and substantiated,” Kalashyan said.

The court listened to the parties and will render its judgment on April 21.

Furthermore, the attorney reiterated that there are yet no grounds to suppose that his client is politically persecuted. “As an attorney I look at this within a criminal and legal platform, and I don’t yet have grounds for giving this issue a political form.”        

He also added that the conclusion of an expert examination is available, according to which the object found out is merely ammunition and not a weapon, since it cannot function in that state given the lack of the necessary parts. According to Kalashyan, the fingerprints found on the pipe do not belong to any of the persons engaged in the criminal case.

Moreover, the attorney stressed that nobody testified against Babayan. Only one investigative action related to Babayan took place, during which another defendant in the case, Sanasar Gabrielyan, refuted the fact that Samvel Babayan had any connection with the smuggling of Igla air missile system. Avetis Kalashyan also noted that Samvel Babayan doesn’t know other defendants in the case except for Sanasar Gabrielyan.

Considering the motion made by the body carrying out pre-trial proceedings, the First Instance General Jurisdiction Court of Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash administrate districts, upon the decision of 24 March 2017, enforced a precautionary measure of two-month arrest regarding him. Babayan’s attorney appealed the decision of the General Jurisdiction Court on the two-month arrest in regard to his client.

Earlier, charges were brought against Babayan under Article 235(2) and 235.1(2)(1) of the Criminal Code of Armenia. 

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