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Prosecutors to Drop Charges Against Armenian Man Accused of Murder, Lawyer Says

The final witness in the case of Vanadzor resident Karen Kungortsevcharged with the attempted murder of 15-year old Davit Hovakimyan, has renounced his testimonies of preliminary investigation. 15-year-old R. S. announced at court yesterday, July 21 that he was not at the crime scene and did not see who stabbed Hovakimyan, Epress.am was told by the defendant’s lawyer, Arayik Papikyan.

“The witness stated that he had only signed the protocol given to him by the inspector. The parents of the witness, who were also in the courtroom yesterday, said they had come to the station once before to sign the protocol,” Papikyan said.

The lawyer recalled that the witness had written in his preliminary testimony that he had seen Kungortsev at the crime scene, and later repeated the same statement in a court hearing in January: “However, yesterday he said he wanted to tell the truth. The witness could hardly speak; his testimony was interrupted twice. He said he had given false testimonies under pressure. He said he had been told everyone was going to testify against Kungortsev.”

The testimonies of this witness, as stated by Papikyan, were the final ones proving the accusation against the defendant; the rest of the examinations, testimonies, material evidence indicate that Karen Kungortsev was not at the scene and did not stab the victim. 

The prosecutors, the lawyer said, will most likely drop the charges during the next hearing, on August 5.

Recall, Karen Kungortsev does not admit guilt, and human rights defenders and his attorney indicate violations recorded during the preliminary investigations. While behind bars, the accused has resorted to self harm, as well as beginning a hunger strike. His mother said that her son was beaten by police while in police custody and was forced to confess.

The charges against Kungortsev were changed from murder to attempted murder in August, 2014. Meanwhile, Vladimir Ghukasyan, a medical doctor of Vanadzor Medical Center was convicted of negligence and improper implementation of professional duties and sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment.