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Accused in Case of Fatal Restaurant Beating Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Judge Davit Harutyunyan in the Court of First Instance of Avan and Nor Nork Communities of Yerevan today sentenced the defendants in the "Harsnaqar case" — Garik Margaryan, Arman Khachatryan, Arman Baghdasaryan, Norayr Hayrapetyan, Artur Babloyan, and Davit Adamyan — to 12 years in prison. Recall, prosecutor Armen Davtyan had asked for 13 years' imprisonment for each of the 6 defendants.

After the verdict was announced, there was a commotion in the courtroom. Relatives of the accused began to curse the court and the prosecutor, then subsequently insulted journalists, throwing bags in their direction. 

Recall, on June 17, 2012, a group of military doctors were subject to a beating at the Harsnaqar restaurant complex belonging to President of the Football Federation of Armenia, then MP Ruben Hayrapetyan. One of the doctors, Vahe Avetyan, 32, died 12 days later in the hospital. The defendants, according to documents presented in court, worked at the restaurant.

The injured party also asked to interrogate Ruben Hayrapetyan, suspecting that he was aware of the beating and perhaps it was he ordered it. Hayrapetyan in court claimed he learned of the incident only after it happened. The court found his assertion credible.

During the trial, one of the accused, Norayr Hayrapetyan, claimed that Vahe Avetyan died only from the blows he inflicted on him.

According to representative of Avetyan's legal successor, attorney Tigran Yegoryan, with this confession the defense attempted to solve two problems: "One is the question of individualization of punishment, in which case it would be possible to apply a new amnesty act to them. The defense will try to conclude the court trial as soon as possible. With the individualization of crime, there is an attempt to neutralize the term 'executed together' noted in the charge. This provision is replaced by the principle of individualization of punishment and the accused admit to separate episodes, thereby ruling out the combination of the crimes.This is very important in light of a new amnesty because this act precludes the application of amnesty in the case of overlapping crimes," said Yegoryan.