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Accused in Gang Case Claims Former Police Chief is Framing Him

Today's court session of the "gang case"  at the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan began with the reading of defendant David Galstyan's pretrial testimony.

Recall, the last court hearing was adjourned because when the pretrial testimony was being read, Galstyan harmed himself. According to Galstyan's attorney Stepan Voskanyan, hearing the prosecutor read a testimony he did not give, Galstyan relived all the torture he experienced and through which a confession was extorted from him. 

Since Galstyan refused to respond to the prosecutor's questions, the court moved to questioning Artush Hakobyan, who is named as the gang's ringleader in the case. 

Hakobyan claims he is not guilty and the defendants cannot be gang members since they don't even know each other. Besides, Hakobyan says, there are no stolen goods that were found.

Hakobyan said he is well endowed and never had the need to resort to robbery, and that former police chief Alik Sargsyan is framing him with this case. 

Hakobyan described a story whereby during an event in which he, his father, and then musician, accordionist Alik Sargsyan were participating and a dispute arose, during which they with their friends beat up Sargsyan and his uncle. The defendant claims that Alik Sargsyan decided to seek revenge from him years later. Note, criminalist Sergei Galoyan put forth this theory a year ago. 

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. 

One of the accused, Arman Dallakyan, 41, died on September 7, 2013, at the Hospital for Convicts. His mother told Epress.am that not only was her son beaten, but also his parents weren't allowed to take him his medication.