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Yerevan Police Staffer’s Attorney Sees No Reason to Invite Witnesses to Court

Aleksandr Sirunyan, a lawyer for Armenia's chief of police advisor Narek Malyan, is opposed to journalist Hakob Karapetyan being questioned as part of the case against his client.

Recall, a defamation and insult lawsuit against Malyan, as well as the Armenian Police, Deputy Police Chief Hunan Poghosyan, and lawmaker Edmon Marukyan, has been filed by a Yerevan-based Russian citizen Yelena Ovsyannikova who claims that the defendants insulted her during the June, 2015, sit-in protest against the hike in Armenian electricity prices on Yerevan’s central Baghramyan Avenue. The complaint contains a demand for AMD 8 million in damages.

At the Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun court on Friday, Ovsyannikova's attorney, Lusine Hakobyan, filed a motion with the judge for issuance of a witness subpoena, stating that the reporter had witnessed the incident and that his testimony could have significant ramifications for the case. Sirunyan, however, objected to the motion, saying that Ovsyannikova's testimony was more than enough, and “there's no need to involve other people.” The rest of the defense lawyers supported Sirunyan's position.

Nonetheless, judge Hovik Shahnazaryan granted Hakobyan's motion and decided that Hakob Karapetyan would testify at the next hearing on March 29.

Speaking to Epress.am after the hearing, Lusine Hakobyan called the defense attorney's objection “unaccaptable.” “Those were not just random words. The fewer witnesses, the less evidence,” she said.

Yelena Ovsyannikova