After four years of court protractions, the violated rights of the soldier Arthur Hakobyan, who suffered a mental illness due to tortures, are being restored. The Cassation Court recently satisfied the cassation appeal by the prosecution and reversed the decision made by the Syunik district Court of first instance of 2017.

The Court of Cassation stated that, by rejecting the appeal against the decisions of the criminal prosecution body, subordinate courts permitted violation of a number of Articles — 17, 86, and 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Article 3 of the Convention — which not only have essential importance, but also affected the making of a just and fair decision on the case.

In addition to this, the Court of Cassation has touched a very important issue – interrogation of a person with mental health. The Court has stated that the restriction on the right of the victim with mental illness to be heard has led to violation of Artur Hakobyan’s rights and freedoms.

The decision of the Court of Cassation presupposes that in the course of a fair trial, both the investigator and the prosecutor and the judges who have concealed the case will be prosecuted.

Returning to Armenia to serve in the army with support of the Return to Armenia Fund, Artur arrived in January 2015 and in November, due to his health problems, was transferred to Yerevan garrison’s military hospital. Arthur was severely beaten by Major Jivan Mkrtchyan in the Meghri military unit for being in the military unit’s shop.

The prosecuting authority, the prosecutor’s office and the court did not conduct a comprehensive, full and objective investigation on the case. The serious contradictions between Arthur’s and the witness’ testimonies were evident. Individuals who have violated Hakobyan have testified in a way that they have been avoided criminal liability.

“They have concealed the case and tried to close it in every possible way,” said Artur’s lawyer Ara Gharagyozyan.

“The Court of Cassation has made a very important case-law: our legal system reached a state when the violated rights were restored not in the European Court but in the Cassation Court

[of our country]. And those violating Artur’s rights must stand trial and bear responsibility for what they have done,” lawyer Ara Gharagyozyan told Forrights.

Roza Vardanyan

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