YEREVAN. – The first court hearing on the case of Narek Malyan, founder of the opposition VETO movement of Armenia, v. Restart initiative members was adjourned today at the Yerevan Court of First Instance.
The hearing was adjourned because Davit Simonyan, a member of Restart, was not acquainted with the indictment against him.
The presiding judge informed that Restart's lawyer Karapet Badalyan had called the court and informed that he would no longer represent the interests of the members of this initiative.
And Armen Khachatryan, another defense lawyer in the same case, had said he would not attend the hearing.
On March 4, past midnight, an incident took place in downtown Yerevan. Police officers in the area prevented, detained 6 participants of the incident, and invited one citizen.
At midnight, Malyan announced via Facebook live that members of the Restart initiative had attacked him and, a few minutes later, police officers approached and took all those involved in the incident to a police station.
Davit Petrosyan, a member of Restart initiative, later admitted on Facebook livestream that they had attacked Malyan, after which he also posted a video showing them trying to throw Malyan into a garbage bin.
A criminal case has been instituted in connection with the incident on the grounds of "hooliganism by a group of persons."
Before the trial began, Narek Malyan's supporters were holding a protest in front of the court. They were joined by several NGO members; Lika Tumanyan, a member of the Adeqvat party initiative; Arsen Babayan, former Deputy Chief of Staff of the National Assembly; and some others.