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Armenian Oppositionist Claims in Court He Is Being Framed

A Yerevan district court Judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan, chairing the trial against opposition activist Gevorg Safaryan, granted at a June 1 hearing a motion filed by defense lawyer Tigran Hayrapetyan to call 13 members of Founding Parliament anti-government movement as witnesses in the case. 

Recall, Safaryan was arrested on New Year's Eve after a scuffle with law enforcement officers on Yerevan’s Freedom Square and was subsequently charged with assaulting police officer Gegham Khachatryan.

Currently, only 10 police officers and 3 employees of a nearby underground garage are set to testify in court; meanwhile, according to the lawyer, there were dozens of other people who witnessed the incident and claimed during pre-trial questioning that it had been the police officer who attacked Safaryan during the incident.


The defendant, for his part, insisted that prosecution simply “filtered out” all the witnesses who had testified in his favour. “They are trying to frame politically motivated case against me,” Safaryan told the court. 

At the next hearing the judge will review a video footage of the incident before proceeding to witness testimonies. “After reviewing the footage, the court will also see that these are cooked up charges and that prosecution has lined up witness testimonies to match the footage,” lawyer Hayrapetyan said.