Armenia's criminal appeals court denied on Thursday a pretrial release motion for New Armenia opposition movement leader Zhirayr Sefilyan, the oppositionist's lawyer, Ara Zakaryan, told Epress.am Friday. He added that Sefilyan's defense team planned to challenge this decision at the Cassation Court.
“I waited at the [appeals] court for an hour yesterday for a hearing, but they said it wouldn't be held. Later, for some unknown reason, they decided to hold one after all without either Sefilyan's or my presence and denied our pre-trial release motion,” Zakaryan said.
Recall, Zhirayr Sefilyan was arrested on June 20 for having allegedly formed an armed group and plotting to organize an armed takeover of the capital's important communication buildings and structures, including Yerevan’s television tower. For that purpose, Armenia's law enforcement authorities insist, the oppositionist had organized an illegal acquisition and transport of weapons and ammunition and their storage in various locations in Yerevan; he now faces charges under the corresponding article of the Armenian criminal code. Sefilyan himself as well as other key members of New Armenia believes that he is being persecuted for his political views.