Arman Davtyan is in pre-trial detention for theft but hopes that the court will prove him not guilty. He emphasizes that did not commit a crime, and his confession was obtained through torture. He states that the people, who gave testimonies against him - his partner Sona Mkrtchyan and friend Arthur Manukyan - also were tortured. According to him, the car loudspeakers, the stolen object, which was found at their home, was implanted by the police, and everything happened according to a planned scenario.
Davtyan was brought to the Mashtots district police without any official notice and nobody explained to him his rights while detained in June 2011. His partner and friend were brought to the police in the same manner. Davtyan insists that he was tortured and because of that gave a false confession. His partner and his friend also reported on being tortured.
Davtyan’s lawyer Anzhela Hobosyan informed www.hra.am that Davtyan is charged with “theft” under Article 177, part 2 of the Criminal Code of RA. The article relates to a theft in large amount, committed by a group on preliminary agreement and through the means of illegal entrance to an apartment or another facility, and implies imprisonment from four to eight years, and confiscation of property or no confiscation.
Davtyan’s complaints about being tortured were vain. His partner was taken to the police for another time and was forced to sign a testimony that her previous testimony was given on her free will and not forced by torture.
The legal representative of Davtyan on complaint about torture is lawyer of Armenian Helsinki Committee Robert Revazyan. He received an answer from the Preliminary Detention Center of Yerevan that when Davtyan had been brought to the detention center, the medical examination of him had registered injuries on his body: scratches and bruises on his back, and timorous right leg.
The duration of participation of Davtyan in criminal investigation activities was 14 hours 40 minutes for the first time, 15 hours 45 minutes for the second time and 9 hours 45 minutes for the third time. Later, the medical examination in Noubarashen Criminal Executive Institution (CEI) registered that there were tumors in the area of his left shin, scrapes in the back, and injuries in the back, some of which have crusted.
“This means that Davtyan was pressured and tortured and criminal activities were taking long, and for that period of time he was refused an opportunity to have a meal or rest. In addition, the investigation activities were conducted also at nights, and on the night of 16 to 17 June 2011 he was refused of 8 hour sleep.
Mr Davtyan was taken from the pre-trial detention on 18 June, 2011 and brought to the Noubarashen CEI on 19 June, 2011. His place and conditions under which he was kept in between stay unclear” says the lawyer.
On 28 March 2012, Mr Revazyan applied to the RA Special Investigative Service with a request to open a criminal case on torture. His application was refused with the following explanation:
‘Even during the preliminary investigation similar claims were made by Arman Davtyan that he, Sona Mkrtchyan and Arthur Manoukyan had been beaten by the police staff of Marshtots District. However, the mentioned complaints during preliminary investigation were not grounded and on 31.11.2011 a decision was made not to realize criminal prosecution, based on the absence of crime, which Arman Davtyan and his lawyer have not protested. Taking into consideration that there is a decision of the investigator not to apply criminal prosecution against the same people with the same accusations, and guided by Article 35 (part1, points 1 and 8) and Article 185 of the Criminal Procedural Code of RA, I decide that petition of R.Revazyan on opening a criminal case be refused on the basis of the decision of the investigator not to start criminal prosecution of the same persons under the same charges”.
We should outline that the decision of 31 October, 2011 was made by an investigator of the Mashtots District police who was to investigate the facts of beating of Davtyan by the police staff of Mashtots district. Thus, he was to investigate a case, which related to his staff mates.
“I believe that the investigation was not thorough and objective. According to Article 126 of the Criminal Procedural Code, the evidence collected on a case should undergo a thorough and objective examination, by comparing the evidences with other evidences, by collecting new evidence, by checking the means of obtained evidence”, says the lawyer.
They cannot bring the witness to the court
The case on “theft” is in the Court of First instance of Ajapnyak and Davitashen administrative districts, and Ms Anzhela Hobosyan, Davtyan’s lawyer, has positive expectation of the Judge Vazgen Rshtouni.
Ms Habosyan informed www.hra.am that court hearings have started but they cannot find witness Arman Sargsyan, who during preliminary investigation confessed that he had participated in “the theft.”
“We don’t know why then he is freed of charges, maybe he was released because of amnesty, but we know that two times during investigative confrontation he had not answered any question. Now he cannot be brought to the court, because, according to the police, he does not live at the address where he is registered,” says Hobosyan.
The lawyer emphasized that they would like to ask questions to the persons from whose car the loudspeakers were stolen and then found in Davtyan’s apartment, as the defender’s side is convinced that they were brought to the apartment by the police in order to have additional evidence for future. Hobosyan says that this can be confirmed by one of Davtyan’s friends.
The court decisions on torture are protested in the RA Court of Cassation
Lawyer Robert Revazyan appealed to the Court of First Instance of Ajapnyak and Davtashen administrative districts with a request that the prolonged period for protesting the decision be acknowledged as due to a reasonable excuse, and that the decision of investigator V.V.Melkonan of Mashtots investigation department made on 31 October 2011 regarding “not opening a criminal case” be annuled. The court refused the complaint on 20 April 2012.
“According to Article 290, part 1, the appeals for court supervision cannot be brought immediately to the court. The subjects mentioned in this Article should first present their complaints to the prosecutor, and if they are not satisfied with the activity of the prosecutor on their complaints, then the subjects can appeal to the court. In this instance no subject complained about the decision of the investigator to the prosecutor and came directly to the court with a demand to annul the decision. In these circumstances, the court finds that the complainants have not obtained the right to protest the decision of the investigator in court”, reads the court decision.
Revazyan made an appeal against this decision of the Court of First Instance at the Ra Court of Appeals, which also refused the appeal. Revazyan is convinced that it is a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to fair court investigation.
The lawyer appealed to the RA Court of Cassation, emphasizing that a practice of homothetic legal procedures has not been yet formed in Armenia. It is widespread when the decisions of investigators are protested in the court, and judges investigate this kind of complaints.
“I have protested the decision in the court of first instance, and then in the court of appeals. Both courts refused the complaints without thorough and objective investigation. In these circumstances, I believe that the courts should have been given Davtyan an opportunity to be heard in front of court, even if there was no intention to proceed with complaint, the court of the first appeal should have given this chance and the chance to appeal to the prosecutor,” believes Revazyan.
The lawyer also mentions that the decision of 31 October 2011 does not contain any information on where, and in what period of time the decision can be protested. Because of that the courts of first instance and court of appeals should have assessed whether the unclear procedures and terms on appealing against the decision shall serve as a basis for the reason that the protest was prolonged and did not correspond to the procedures.
In case the Court of Cassation does not annul the decisions of the two lower courts, Mr Revazyan is going to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.