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Accused in Gang Case Pierces Himself with Sharp Object in Courtroom: Trial Postponed

Today's court session in the "gang case" was adjourned at the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan after one of the accused, David Galstyan, harmed himself. 

As reported by the Epress.am journalist in the courtroom, Galstyan, accused of committing a series of burglaries, pierced his hand with something sharp (the Epress.am journalist was unable to see what it was). Court bailiffs and police officers responded immediately, asking those present to leave the courtroom while providing assistance to Galstyan. 

Galstyan committed the act of self-mutilation after the prosecutor began to read the testimony he allegedly gave during the preliminary investigation. During the trial, Galstyan has repeatedly said he gave no such testimony and that police tortured him. 

Asked whether there was an investigation (into the allegation of police torture), he said no. "There was no interrogation. [I was] taken, beaten, and told, the case of one year’s [burglaries] is on you. They didn’t give [me] the opportunity to have counsel for one year. I didn’t participate in the investigation because I was ill [as a result of the beating]," Galstyan said, adding that he was threatened that they would create problems for his family members.

Galstyan's attorney Stepan Voskanyan informed Epress.am that his client harmed himself because hearing the prosecutor read a testimony he did not give, Galstyan relived all the torture which was applied to him. 

According to the attorney, attached to the case materials are the results of the forensic examination that state that Galstyan has serious mental health problems.

Voskanyan said that his client attempted self-mutilation once before, after the death of one of the other accused, Armen Dallakyan

Today's court session was postponed to August 6.

Earlier, Galstyan read a statement in court [in Armenian only].

Recall, five people are arrested and accused of committing burglary in September 2011. The accused (and their lawyers) claim that they are being tortured and testimony obtained under torture shouldn't be admitted in court and become grounds for prosecution.