The Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron-Nork Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan again postponed the trial of the “Nork criminal group”. This time the reason is one of the attorneys’ vacation. It should be noted that Artur Vardanyan was detained in November 2015, but, to this day, there is no verdict regarding anyone in the case.
“In essence, court sessions have not been held steadily after the change of power in this case,” Levon Baghdasaryan, Artur Vardanyan’s attorney said, adding that a court session should take place on changing Arthur Vardanyan’s preventive measure, which does not take place for a long time:
“The condition for hearing the case within a reasonable time, which is fixed by domestic laws, and the ECHR responds to it in a very harsh manner, seeing an issue connected with the justice system, has been violated,” the lawyer said.
Attorney Levon Baghdasaryan sees elements of torture with his client and does not rule out that he can appeal to the European Court. “I see here a violation of the Convention on two grounds. First, I do not see grounds for detention. Article 135 of the Criminal Code directly points out the grounds for a person to be detained. In Arthur Vardanyan’s case, the person is not being detained, but punished. I also see elements of discrimination here, I see an issue of equality, in violation of the Constitution,” the lawyer mentioned.
Currently, Artur Vardanyan is receiving inpatient treatment at Mikaelyan Hospital. Ashkhen, the wife of Artur Vardanyan, the leader of the Armenian Shield organization, who is accused for the Nork Armed Forces case, during an interview with Forrights.am spoke of the extreme condition of her husband’s health. She told us that her husband was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is intestinal inflammation, erosion. Vardanyan got the Crohn’s disease in prison two years ago. According to the wife, they did not understand the illness of Arthur Vardanyan in the “Hospital for Convicts” and only this summer he was diagnosed with the disease in a civilian hospital.
The wife sees intention in postponement of her husband’s trial, as no sessions took place for almost one year.
She added that even after the revolution, she did not see any changes in judge Armen Bektashyan’s actions, and inhuman treatment and injustice continue toward her husband.
“After the revolution he does not do sessions at all.” She expressed concern that, if Vardanyan was transferred to the penitentiary, the disease would be exacerbated and may have irreversible consequences.
“My husband has been in custody for 3.5 years without a court sentence, while other defendants who were charged with the same charge [and within the same criminal case] are
released from detention. The sixth petition for dismissal of Vardanyan has been rejected. They do not consider anything,” complained the prisoner’s wife, adding: “We even appealed to the members of the government, but they say, “We do not want to interfere. “
Ashkhen reminded that her husband had been detained since 2015, as he, according to accusation, opposed to the regime of previous president Serzh Sargsyan. “The person is kept in detention for just his alleged intentions. Yesterday I read that Serge Sargsyan’s nephew had given his passport for leaving Armenia, when there were very heavy [criminal] articles on him. As of today, Serzh Sargsyan’s regime representatives are resting in Armenia and abroad, but my husband is still imprisoned. Was the revolution against Artur if he had not come out yet?” said the offended woman.
Let us remind that, according to the materials of the criminal case, Arthur Vardanyan was the leader of an alleged armed group. The group, according to the accusation, planned to crash the President Serzh Sargsyan’s plane in 2015, capture the buildings of state institutions and seize the power. The defendants do not accept the charges.
Arthur Vardanyan’s wife does not believe in the revolution. “After the revolution, those against whom the revolution was done should have been punished. Those people have not been punished, but those who opposed the previous regime are being punished, one of which is my husband,” Ashkhen said. “We have not robbed this country to give some of the plunder [as bribe] or transfer to various funds and get freed. That is what I see is going on, how those who robbed the country avoid punishment. And I do not know what to do, nobody pays attention on what I say.”
Gagik Hakobyan, the head of the department of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Mikaelyan Hospital, who is Arthur Vardanyan’s doctor, told us that Vardanyan’s illness is Chron’s disease, and it can cause serious complications.
“As a result of the treatment, he is in relatively stable state, but it does not mean that the situation is good. Because it is a chronic disease. He always needs medications and doctors’ supervision. One of the peculiarities of this disease is that it needs special diets. I do not know if they are able to secure him with that kind of diet in detention facility,” said the doctor.
According to him, if the diet is disturbed, the illness may be exacerbated. “If the regime, the diet is broken, the illness can be aggravated, there may be very strong complications,” said the doctor.