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YEREVAN. – At Wednesday’s hearing on the criminal case involving ten members of the Sasna Tsrer armed group of Armenia, the capital city Yerevan court of general jurisdiction denied the motion by defendant Smbat Barseghyan’s attorney to repeal or commute his client’s pretrial measure of custody and to release him.

Barseghyan is charged with killing police officer Yuri Tepanosyan.

Subsequently, the court adjourned.

At the next court hearing, the material evidence in the case will be examined.

Of the aforesaid ten members, solely defendants Armen Bilyan and Smbat Barseghyan are still in custody along the lines of this case. They are accused of killing police officers.

After last year’s revolution in Armenia, and based on the personal pledges submitted by MPs, the pretrial measure of custody that was in force for seven other members was commuted and they were released, while Sasna Tsrer member Pavel Manukyan was set free on a 1mn-dram bail.

In protest of the then authorities, the Sasna Tsrer armed group took over a police patrol regiment building in Yerevan and held hostages, but later surrendered in July 2016. Three police officers, however, were killed during the two-week standoff.

Criminal charges have been brought against 32 people in connection with this incident and related developments.

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