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The Criminal Court of Appeal of Armenia has rendered a decision to uphold the appeal of the Prosecutor General’s Office and has forwarded the criminal case regarding the murder of Poghos Poghosyan at Aragast Café (on the night of September 24, 2001) to the first instance court of general jurisdiction for a new examination.

The Prosecutor General’s Office reported the following: “As reported earlier, the Prosecutor’s Office of Yerevan had examined the criminal case regarding the murder of Poghos Poghosyan at Aragast Café on the night of September 24, 2001 examined by the Yerevan first instance court of general jurisdiction, the application filed by the attorneys of Steven John Newton and the documents attached to the application.

As a result, it was established that on September 25, 2001, under the criminal case instituted under the elements of crime provided for by Article 100 of the former Criminal Code, former official (one of the bodyguards of then President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan) Aghamal Harutyunyan was declared guilty of committing careless murder with criminal negligence.

The court considered as confirmed the incident that took place at the café on September 25, 2001 at 12:30 a.m.

By the court decision of February 21, 2002, accused-on-trial Aghamal Harutyunyan was sentenced to two years in prison, but the specified punishment wasn’t applied conditionally and a one-year probation period was prescribed.

A study of the application addressed by Steven John Newton to the Prosecutor General of Armenia and Newton’s statement on the incident (attached to the application) showed that there is essential information about the incident that attest to the commission of intentional murder with hooligan motives by a group of people.

Proceedings have been instituted, several actions have been taken, witnesses have been interviewed, and they have confirmed the fact that Poghos Poghosyan was beaten by a group of people. Steven John Newton has also been interviewed and has given a similar testimony.

A forensic medicine expert examination has been designated, the results of which are essentially different from the data in the conclusion given under the criminal case in the past.

Based on the aforementioned, on January 17, 2020, the Deputy Prosecutor General of Armenia appealed to the Criminal Court of Appeal with the request to review and completely overturn, on the ground of newly emerged circumstances, the verdict reached on February 21, 2002 and forward the case to a relevant lower court for new examination.

On July 6, 2020, with its decision, the Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the appeal filed by Deputy Prosecutor General A. Harutyunyan, overturned the verdict of February 21, 2002 and forwarded the case to the Yerevan court of general jurisdiction for new examination.

The court also ruled to select signature to not leave the country as a pre-trial measure for Aghamal Harutyunyan.

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