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Disclosure of Murder Case Jeopardized, Believes Defense Lawyer

Karen Kungortsev, 22, accused of killing David Hovakimyan, 15, will remain behind bars for a longer period, after the Lori District Court of First Instance today sustained the investigator's request to extend his pre-trial detention period.

Kungortsev’s attorney of the Helsinki Association for Human Rights Ara Papikyan told Epress.am that the court sustained a motion that was completely baseless. The investigator had based his petition solely on legislative justifications, without referring to any specific and valid reasons.

According to Papikyan, the court ignored the position established by several precedent rulings of the Court of Cassation that two criteria must be met in order for a term of imprisonment to be extended:

1. the grounds and conditions for choosing imprisonment as the measure of restraint continue to exist or there are new grounds for keeping a person in custody

2. the investigative body has exhibited due diligence to ensure the investigation

"Apart from the petition, the investigator provided no facts or evidence to justify it. Meanwhile, the defense presented irrefutable facts and evidence that the preliminary investigative body, beginning from the initial hours of the investigation, displayed either inaction or improper work performance. Numerous judicial actions either weren't done or were done late; an objective and comprehensive investigation is not being ensured; motions presented by the defense are not dealt with in accordance with the procedure established by law; and chosen for the investigation at the start and continuing to this day is a direction that already has jeopardized the disclosure of truth," said the attorney. 

The lawyer intends to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal.