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Friends of Karabakh War Veteran Convicted of Fraud Will Meet to Discuss Next Steps

Friends, family, and supporters of Karabakh War veteran, retired army colonel Volodya Avetisyan, who yesterday was sentenced to 6 years in prison on charges of fraud, intend to meet in the coming days and discuss their next steps. In conversation with Epress.am, war veteran Gagik Sarukhanyan said that regardless of how expected yesterday's court ruling was, Avetisyan's friends are disappointed and crestfallen, so they need a few days to "recover from the shock".

"There are suggestions to take more drastic action, expanding our ranks with our appeals till we block the main road. We'll start a bit later to take concrete steps," he said. 

Sarukhanyan believes that the by isolating Avetisyan, the ruling authorities had one goal: to prevent more war veterans from rallying around him and for the work he began not to achieve public resonance.

"Volodya's case achieved great resonance, in connection with today's unjust judicial system; meanwhile, the resonance of the movement he began has fallen. The criminal regime couldn't have let him go; they too know well — the judge, his head hung, was mumbling, he didn't know what to say. He too knows that it's not a verdict but an audacity. Today's criminal regime has begun a legal terror against the people," he said. 

Recall, Avetisyan was found guilty of fraud and attempted fraud. During the entire trial, Avetisyan has denied the charges against him; moreover, he repeatedly said the charges against him are a result of political persecution, as he was one of the organizers of protests by war veterans demanding better treatment and improved social conditions. In one court session, Avetisyan said that after one of the protests to improve the social conditions of war veterans he was warned that he will be framed.