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Prosecution Confirms Police Officers were in Plainclothes: Trial of Opposition Activist Continues

The investigators made gross violations when drawing up the protocols after examining the video materials, said defense attorneys Inessa Petrosyan, Ara Zakaryan, and Hovhannes Kocharyan in court today in the case of political activist Shant Harutyunyan (pictured) and the 13 supporters who were arrested with him last year in clashes with police. The video materials were studied over a 14-day period, but the signatures of the investigators examining the material were on the protocol of only one of those days. 

Harutyunyan's attorney, Inessa Petrosyan, remarked that the video footage shows that some of the police officers were in plainclothes — a fact that was confirmed in court by prosecuting attorney Gevorg Gevorgyan, who said that police officers "in civilian clothes were performing their official duties." 

Petrosyan stressed this means that one of the charges against the defendants — the use of violence against a government representative — is no longer applicable. The defendants are charged also with "hooliganism". 

It has already been proven in the video footage that two of the defendants, Vardan Vardanyan and Albert Makaryan, attacked exclusively people in civilian clothes.

Petrosyan highlighted another important fact: ahead of the November 5, 2013 march, protestors were not told by police that the march was illegal. Furthermore, video footage clearly shows how a police officer is the first to grab Shant Harutyunyan's neck, when Harutyunyan had not yet set foot on Mashtots Avenue. When another defendant, Vardanyan, tried to help Harutyunyan, he was attacked. 

Harutyunyan, in turn, made a statement, emphasizing the omissions in the investigation. According to him, the case shouldn't be handed over to the investigation department of the police since it involves police employees, and in this case, a biased attitude can be expected.