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Attorney of Armenian Man Convicted of Battery to Appeal to ECtHR

Lawyer Alvard Mnatsakanyan informed Epress.am on Thursday, August 27 that she plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in connection with the case of Gor Barnausov accused of group assault.

Note, in July 2014 a Yerevan court found Gor Barnausov and Armen Zarafyan guilty of beating Armen Petrosyan and sentenced them to 5 years in prison

In an interview with Epress.am Barnausov's attorney, Alvard Mnatsakanyan said her client was deprived of the right to defense, since previously defendant Barnausov was assigned a lawyer invited by the prosecutor who in the past had worked as a prosecutor himself. This violation has been confirmed by disciplinary proceedings in the RA Chamber of Advocates; the lawyer has admitted his guilt and was fined $400.

According to Mnatsakanyan, people having direct connection with the body conducting the proceedings – the Shengavit investigation division of RA Police – have also been involved in the case as attesting witnesses: these people confirmed in court that they were interns in the investigation division. The witnesses, the lawyer claims, had not even been present at the crime scene which was evidenced by their contradictory testimonies in court. They, as stated by Mnatsakanyan, only signed the protocols in the investigations division.

According to the materials of the case, the sole witness in the case was Gor Ghevondyan, who, at the time of the incident, was a contract serviceman serving 50 kilometers from the scene. Ghevondyan later renounced his pre-trial testimony in court according to which he had heard the voices of the participants of the incident and ran in their direction. 

“Meanwhile, he could not have heard voices in the distance of 50 kilometers, and even if he did, he did not have to right to leave the territory of the checkpoint. In addition, he said in court that he had been kept in the investigator's office for 12 hours; they took his phone and did not allow him to contact his relatives. He was released only after giving false testimony. 

“Thus, the investigative body has based the charges on a number of significant legal and judiciary violations: the attorney was invited by the investigator, the attesting witnesses were interns in the Shengavit investigation division, and the sole witness testified after being held in the division for hours,” Mnatsakanyan said. 

Alvard Mnatsakanyan also raised the issue of violations of substantive law made during the investigation. The lawyer also added that the actions of the accused were wrongly qualified as group assault. Meanwhile, the victim insisted during the trial that the defendants attacked him separately. This was confirmed by the forensic medical examination, according to which the first blow on Petrosyan's  head was of medium gravity.

Nevertheless, the lawyer said, the courts did not take these violations into account and charged the defendants under RA Criminal Code Article 112 Section 2 Point 6 (Infliction of willful heavy damage to health by a group of persons, by an organized group).