Friday, September 19, 2008

Ashot Manukian: an update from inside the banditocracy.

The trial finally commenced two days ago and was adjourned to finish next Friday the 26th. Apparently it took the regime 6 months to come up with a story of throwing a rock from 6 feet away and two witnesses. Here is the first hand report of the trial from a US Official in Yerevan:
I did attend the Manukyan trial on Wednesday. Two witnesses testified – both police officers. One testified as the "victim" and the other as a "witness". The victim testified that he saw the defendant at the rally and that the defendant was part of the crowd, chanting against the police. At one point the defendant had a stone or a rock in his hand and he threw it at the police officer, hitting him on the left foot. (The officer was in full riot gear, with a shield and helmet, so it is doubtful he was wearing sandals). The officer later went to the hospital. There was no testimony that he was ever in pain or that he ever broke any bones. The defendant was only about 2 meters from him at the time. The testimony, thus, was pretty weak. The defendant identified him at a later date.

The second witness was worse (for the prosecution) than the first. He remembered the defendant being there, milling about, and working up the crowd. But that was it. The prosecutor reminded him of his prior investigation statement, which was more helpful to the prosecution, and he acknowledged that the prior information was correct.

First some good news – I think the judge is a very fair fellow who is genuinely concerned about justice in general. Whether he will be brave enough in this case to return an acquittal is another story, since I barely know the judge (we have had conversations) and he may feel the need to return a conviction.

The bad news is that this case clearly demonstrates, even assuming that the defendant is completely guilty, that the authorities are out to get him. He took part in the demonstration and he threw a rock that hit a cop in the foot. Minimal injury at worst. This is really no big deal. In the US the defendant might spend one night in jail and then get a conditional discharge (release). Or he might plead guilty to disorderly conduct and have to pay a fine or do 5 days community service or do a few days in jail. Maybe, at worst, he would do 7, 10, or 15 days in jail. But to charge him with a high felony, facing years in jail, that is where the inequity lies, as you can understand.

We have a new American Ambassador here in Armenia, the first one in several years. We will continue to press for a fair criminal justice system.

6 comments:

Ani said...

This new story on Armenia Liberty might be a hint of what the U.S. will pony up to get some justice going: http://tinyurl.com/4fra2n

Armenia Expects U.S. Expert to Help with Unrest Probe

[...]
U.S. Charge d’Affaires Joseph Pennington, for his part, confirmed that discussions about the involvement of international experts in the investigation of the March 1-2 melee are still ongoing. He also spoke about his discussions with the head of the parliamentary ad hoc committee conducting the probe and hoped that its current efforts would end successfully.

Pennington and Hovsepian met on Friday to sign an agreement whereby the U.S. Government provides an additional assistance worth more than $2 million to the Armenian Government for implementing a number of programs in the country’s legal system.

Hovsepian, in particular, said that the additional funding will contribute to the equipment of the criminal expert laboratory of the National Expertise Bureau with “state-of-the-art technical means”.

antifa said...

Sorry this is unrelated but couldn't resist to share. I think Vahan Hovhanissian needs to be sent to kindergarten.

«Ես միանգամայն համաձայն եմ Վահան Հովհաննիսյանի հետ, շատ արդիական առաջարկ է»,- ասաց Հայաստանի կոմունիստական կուսակցության կենտրոնական կոմիտեի առաջին քարտուղար Ռուբեն Թովմասյանը՝ անդրադառնալով նախորդ օրը մեր թերթին տված հարցազրույցում Վահան Հովհաննիսյանի այն առաջարկին, որ յուրաքանչյուր քաղաքական ուժ սկսի ցույցեր անցկացնել երկրի ու քաղաքի այն հատվածներում, որն իրենց օրոք է կառուցվել. Տեր-Պետրոսյանը՝ «Հրազդան» տոնավաճառում, Քոչարյանը՝ Հյուսիսայինում: Քանի որ Հայաստանի շենքերի եւ հրապարակների ճնշող մեծամասնությունը կառուցվել է կոմունիստների օրոք, պարոն Թովմասյանը իր կողմից «հակընդդեմ» առաջարկով հանդես եկավ. «ՀԿԿ-ն ոչ միայն պահանջում է իրեն հանրահավաքների թույլտվություն տալ ցանկացած վայրում, այլեւ՝ որ նրանք անհապաղ ազատեն ՀԿԿ Կենտկոմի շենքը, նախագահի, կառավարության նստավայրերը, Սահմանադրական դատարանի, բոլոր մարզպետարանների եւ քաղաքապետարանների շենքերը: Տնվորի պես եկել-խցկվել են՝ ուրիշներին էլ խորհուրդ են տալիս՝ որտե՞ղ եւ ինչպե՞ս հանրահավաք անել»: Իր հերթին ինքը՝ Վահան Հովհաննիսյանը մեր նույն լուրին արձագանքել է հետեւյալ կերպ. «Հայ հեղափոխական դաշնակցության թողած հիմնական հուշարձանը հայոց պետականությունն է ընդհանրապես: 1918 թվականի պետականությունը եթե չստեղծվեր Դաշնակցության կողմից, ապա որեւէ «կառուցապատման» տարածք հայ ժողովուրդը ընդհանրապես չէր ունենա»:

http://new.aravot.am/am/articles/politics/47625/view

nazarian said...

Just like kids...

me said...

Apparently Vahan personally built Matenadaran which gave him the right to hold a recent rally there. And this is the level of political discourse in Armenia.

Anonymous said...

Not only Matenadaran. The whole country is a Dashnaktsutyan property.

nazarian said...

By the same logic, NKR and the surrounding territories would be HHSh property.

I would like to know what Mr. Hovhanisian was smoking when he said these things.