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YEREVAN. – The court session on the criminal case against third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Flash fuel company owner of Barsegh Beglaryan, former Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture Samvel Galstyan, and Gevorg Harutyunyan, Head of the Plant Breeding Department of the same ministry, adjourned Thursday.

Defendants Sargsyan and Harutyunyan were not in the courtroom.

The presiding judge read out the petition by Serzh Sargsyan's lawyer Amram Makinyan, in which it was stated that Sargsyan had taken a COVID-19 test Thursday, but its result had not been received yet, and therefore the attorney asked the court to reschedule this court session.

The judge also read the petition by Serzh Sargsyan's other lawyer, Ruben Hakobyan, asking the court to recognize Sargsyan’s absence from this court hearing as respectful.

The court did not agree with the defense lawyers' assertion that the court hearings should be rescheduled due to the growth rate of the coronavirus in Armenia, saying that the respective dynamics were decreasing rather than increasing.

Also, the court considered it disrespectful that Serzh Sargsyan was absent from the court session.

The next court hearing in the case of Serzh Sargsyan and others was scheduled for September 3.

According to the indictment of this criminal case, being organized by Sargsyan, pushed by Beglaryan, and assisted by Galstyan and Harutyunyan, Karapetyan had wasted—from January 25 to February 7, 2013—AMD 489,160,310 of subsidy allocated from the government's reserve fund for the 15,391,765 liters of diesel fuel that was used during the implementation of state assistance programs.

Serzh Sargsyan, however, does not accept the charge against him. His lawyer Amram Makinyan claims that the charge is concocted. According to media reports, Sergo Karapetyan's testimony is at the basis of the charge. He and Sargsyan have confronted each other along the lines of this criminal case.

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