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Yerevan Man Using Temporary Insanity to Get Away With Wife’s Murder, Lawyer Says

Artak Arakelyan, a Yerevan man accused of killing his former wife in September 2015, said in court Wednesday that he had killed 38-year-old Heghine Darbazyan out of jealousy in a state of temporary insanity after allegedly discovering that she was having an affair with “some Turk named Nadik.” The indictment drawn up by prosecutor Hakob Yenokyan also states “jealousy” as the motive for the woman's killing. After today's hearing at Yerevan's Malatia-Sebastia district court, Yenokyan told reporters that a person's nationality “is of utmost importance” to him.

“I'm an Armenian man, so a Turk's nationality is important to me,” the prosecutor declared. He also expressed his surprise at defense lawyer Lyudvig Avetisyan being accused of racism and discrimination after asking the victim's son at an earlier hearing whether he was “fine with the fact that your mother was having a relationship with some azeri.”

“Your sisters and brothers died because of these racists. So again, a Turk's nationality is very important,” Yenokyan repeated and refused to answer a reporter's question as to whether his racial bias could affect his final demand for punishment.

The accused, for his part, told the court that he had not intentionally murdered his former wife but that "an irresistible impulse" had led him to stab Darbazyan to death. According to Arakelyan, Darbazyan was not “a very good housewife, wouldn't prepare meals;” besides, “being the jealous man I am, I could not stand my wife having an affair with someone else.”

“It's not that easy to kill someone; I lost all judgement when she finally said that she did not regret [cheating on me]. As for the knives I had on me – I simply kept those for self defense,” Arakelyan said, claiming that Darbazyan would repeatedly threaten him through various men.

Seda Safaryan, a lawyer for the victim's legal successor, said in conversation with reporters after the hearing that during preliminary questioning the accused had not mentioned any of the things he said in court today and she was therefore convinced that Arakelyan was “clinging to lies” and using the irresistible impulse excuse to try to get away with the crime.