The pretrial investigation and trial were initially held with "omissions and drawbacks", the lawyers believe.
“During investigation the site of the car accident was changed and, as a result, the prosecutor claims the accident to have happened in the sidewalk instead of the carriageway. It turns out the circumstances of the accident have changed. The pretrial investigation and proceedings as such aimed to convict and imprison Vardan Petrosyan instead of spotting the truth and doing justice,” said Nikolay Baghdasryan, Vardan Petrosyan lawyer, at the Media Center hosted press conference attended also by Marie Dose, Vardan Petrosyan’s French lawyer.
Vardan Petrosyan’s lawyers, who consider the imprisonment decision illegal, have applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). “The European Court, we hope, will respond quickly and our authorities, courts will have to admit to having imprisoned Vardan Petrosyan illegally and without reasonable grounds,” Nikolay Baghdasaryan hopes.
On October 20, 2013, the car accident on Yeghvard-Yerevan road involved 'VAZ 2121' (Hakobyans' car) and 'BMW' (Vardan Petrosyan's car) cars. The car accident resulted in the death of two of the 'VAZ 2121' passengers- Edgar and Eduard Hakobyans.
The prosecutor demanded that the actor be sentenced to six-and-a-half-year imprisonment. The actor is demanded to be suspended the driving license for three years and pay a penalty of 500 thousand drams.
The lawyers believe the pretrial investigation and trial proceedings were intentionally held with omissions, namely the crime was concealed, with the accident circumstances remaining not detected. “Neither has the court started an investigation to reveal the truth,” Baghdasaryan said.
“The judge said they would discuss the circumstances in the jury room. It is technically impossible to find out such details in the jury room,” Baghdasaryan insisted.
Marie Dose described the investigation and trial of her defendant’s case as aimless. She cannot understand why trial proceedings should have been held if no justifying circumstances were discussed in the court.
“The prosecutor’s closing speech was the copy paste of the lawsuit. It does not specify any reason why that very sentence should be given. The trial seems to have been conducted only to impress people,” said Marie Dose.
Petrosyan’s lawyers hope the January 23 hearing will make a positive shift. However, irrespective of the sentence, they think, Petrosyan will serve it “in an open regime.”
“Our legislation is developed to avoid imprisonment in cases of criminal negligence causing death. Convicts are granted parole, and usually it is all settled down in a year,” explained Baghdasaryan.
“I have been involved in investigating a car accident in France. There the driver, unlike Vardan Petrosyan, was under influence. He was arrested for two and a half year and soon released. The trial is ongoing but he is sure to be released in the end,” said Marie Dose.
“It is common to imprison a person if the crime is committed intentionally. So, a person is punished and isolated from the society as he/she is a dangerous menace,” concluded Dose.