Today's court session on the case of the bombing of the central Yerevan bar DIY didn't last very long as the prosecutor was absent. The court bailiffs accidentally sent him home.
The first session in the Court of Appeal in the case took place today. The court was presided over by Judge Manushak Petrosyan.
Marine Grigoryan, representing the owner of DIY, is appealing the lower court ruling. According to the plaintiff, the ruling set a mild punishment for the accused. The Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork Marash Administrative Districts Judge Gagik Poghosyan sentenced Arameh and Hambik Khabazyan to 1 year and 7 months’ provisional imprisonment and 2 years’ probation.
"From a human rights’ perspective, the act committed by the defendants is a hate crime. Though the RA Criminal Code does not provide for hate crime [per se], it had the opportunity, applying international agreements on human rights, to set a strict punishment, thereby preventing he spread of homophobia, hate, and discrimination," reads the appeal, in part.
Human rights NGO representatives had expressed their concerns regarding the earlier verdict. The court "doesn't consider that [what they did] was a clear terrorist act directed at minorities," Public Information and Need of Knowledge (PINK Armenia) President Mamikon Hovsepyan had said earlier.
The case will be examined according to cassation procedure, Judge Poghosyan said in court today. Today's session was cut short as prosecutor A. Gevorgyan was absent. The judge explained that the court bailiffs had misinformed the prosecutor, telling him the session won't be taking place today, after which the prosecutor left the building.
Though neither side made a motion to go ahead with the session despite the prosecutor's absence, the court decided to postpone the session, setting the next court date at Oct. 14 at 11 am.
Note, Arameh and Hambik Khabazyan, as well as their attorney Melanya Arustamyan, have declined from speaking to the press about the case.