Gevorg Sargsyan, one of the suspects accused of involvement in the violent beating of 52-year-old Karabakh war veteran Vardan Tumanyan, has been taken into custody after violating the conditions of his own recognizance release agreement by physically abusing his wife on a central Yerevan street late last month, Tigran Muradyan, a lawyer for Tumanyan’s widow and legal successor Tanya Melkumyan, told Epress.am on Tuesday. Sargsyan, known by the nickname Jungle, was arrested on December 2, during a hearing of Tumanyan’s assault case in Yerevan’s Avan and Nor Nork district court, the lawyer said.
Note, Vardan Tumanyan died one day after being brutally beaten in a Yerevan yard in July, 2014. Sargsyan, along with his two nephews, Sargis Ghukasyan and Viktor Hovsepyan, was subsequently arrested on charges of “infliction of willful medium-gravity damage to health by a group of persons;” the prosecution believes that the veteran’s death was not directly caused by the assault.
“[Sargsyan] should have been arrested a long time ago; he had been behaving like a hooligan ever since he was released but the court would not issue an arrest order. His wife’s beating, however, got a lot of attention, so they could no longer get away with not arresting him,” Tanya Melkumyan said in a conversation with Epress.am.
According to the widow, the defendant had come to the December 2 hearing in a “fairly good condition;” but after realizing that he was going to be taken into custody, he began complaining of severe pain; “He’d pretend that he was feeling unwell, but as soon he’d leave the courtroom [during breaks], he’d instantly behave normally again. I told the court about this, but since he was literally wailing, they [initially] took him to the convicts’ hospital.”
Zara Hovhannisyan, the coordinator of the Coalition to Stop Violence against Women who had witnessed the young woman’s beating on November 26, told Epress.am that she, along with Sargsyan’s wife, confronted Sargsyan in Yerevan’s Nubarashen jail on December 9.
“I was there as a witness, the wife – as a victim. Jungle’s lawyer would ask her whether she had felt any physical pain [during the beating]. The main emphasis was on the idea that Sargsyan had not caused her any actual pain and could therefore get a milder punishment. But the woman insisted that she had in fact felt physical pain,” Hovhannisyan stated.