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Ex-Soldier Jailed for False Terror Reports Pardoned by Armenian President

Davit Hakobyan, a 27-year-old former contract serviceman who had been sentenced to a year and six months in prison for reporting false bomb threats to police, has been pardoned by Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, Hetq.am reports, adding that Hakobyan's parents were informed about the president's decision by Armenia's defense minister Vigen Sargsyan when waiting to visit their son at the Armavir prison. According to the source, Vigen Sargsyan has also promised to ensure that the former serviceman receives the medical treatment he needs.

Hakobyan, a native of the village of Mayisyan in Armenia's Armavir province, was left disabled five years ago after being misdiagnosed and unsuccessfully operated on by Yerevan’s central military hospital surgeons. Acknowledging that the serviceman's complications were caused by the military doctors' errors, then-defense minister Seyran Ohanyan paid the Hakobyans a total of 1 million drams (just over $2,000) in compensation for medical expenses and promised that the ministry would arrange Davit's further treatment in Germany and cover the costs. However, ministry officials subsequently went back on their promise, claiming that there was not enough money in the military budget to send the young man to Germany.

In order to attract the authorities' attention to his problem, the former serviceman proceeded to reporting false bomb threats to the police. At first, he reported that a bomb had been planted at Seyran Ohanyan's office, and over the next few days, he made another two false reports regarding bombs planted at the presidential residence and the Muratsan military hospital.