The real purpose behind the arrest of the nine Sari Tagh men charged with allegedly committing violence against law enforcement officers during the clashes that occurred in the neighbourhood on July 19, the second day of the stand-off in the nearby police headquarters in Yerevan’s Erebuni district, is to “punish the people,” Toros Torosyan, arrestee Harutyun Torosyan’s brother, said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Liparit Simonyan, a lawyer for several of the men, in turn, stated that it is still unclear what they are being blamed for, and that in previous court hearings, the defense has filed numerous motions with the request to clarify the charge against each of the arrested men, “because it is otherwise impossible to properly defend the accused.”
“Both the judge and the prosecutor in the case have refused to explain the charges. The prosecutor says their alleged crimes will eventually become clear during the trial. In other words, these people are being held under arrest, and they have yet to learn exactly what they have done. Arrest is the most serious preventive measure, and it is only implemented in extreme cases. Whereas here, the investigative body watched a video material and decided randomly who to arrest and charge with eventually-to-become-clear crimes,” Simonyan told reporters. According to the lawyer, the incriminating court testimony given by the allegedly affected police officers also shows that they have never seen the defendants before.
Toros Torosyan went on to insist that the nine men have been subjected to arbitrary arrest, and that there could easily be other detainees in their place. “[Law enforcement authorities] just sat down for a cup of coffee and decided randomly whom to arrest,” he said, adding that their only hope for justice is the European Court of Human Rights.