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The Court of Appeal has sustained detention of Artsakh Defense Army colonel Norayr Aslanyan

Society

On December 4, 2023, the attorneys of Colonel Norayr Aslanyan, a colonel of the reserve forces within the Artsakh Defense Army, have received the decision from the Court of Appeal to uphold his detention. Colonel Aslanyan, honored with both the first and second degrees of the Military Cross, faces ongoing detainment despite the presentation of compelling evidence by the defense team.

As previously informed by the defense group, relevant evidence was presented to the courts that the ammunition found in Colonel Aslanyan's possession was legal. Particularly, it was given ex officio by the office of the President of Artsakh to Norayr Aslanyan, who held the position of deputy head of security in the same staff, within the framework of the implementation of specific functions.

On the one hand, the court of first instance of the general jurisdiction of Yerevan does not dispute the relevance and credibility of the evidence presented,  It simply states that that "the evidence presented does not neutralize the accusation”, which is contrary to the law and the fundamental principles of logic. On the other hand,  the Court of Appeal does not even refer to this circumstance at all, and simply assesses that the court of first instance made the right conclusions.

According to the defense lawyers, if this legally absurd accusation reaches the stage of a public trial, it will be very interesting to find out what other evidence would prove the legality of the alleged illegal ammunition. Attorney Armen Andrikyan noted. "In general, the absurdity of the accusation, the continued detention of a person in the absence of reasonable suspicion and grounds for arrest, raises significant doubts about the underlying motives of the ongoing legal process It is clear that the detention applied to Colonel Aslanyan contains years of punishment. Moreover, it is unclear what specific "deed" Colonel Aslanyan is being punished for."

It is a particularly worrying circumstance that the National Security Service found it appropriate to argue in court that Norayr Aslanyan, as a high-ranking military officer, has a good reputation among the public and can influence the investigation by virtue of that fact. The defense team underlines that a person's integrity and reputation within society should not be used to justify their detention. Such an approach not only undermines the principles of justice but also sets a troubling trend within the law enforcement system.

This practice sets a logic, insinuating that only those considered 'rogue' should be eligible for release from custody.

Moreover, the argument  that Norayr Aslanyan is being held in custody due to  "fear" of him escaping to Artsakh goes beyond the limits of common sense.

In light of the aforementioned circumstances, Colonel Aslanyan's defense team announces its preparation to submit an application to the European Court of Human Rights, having exhausted all domestic remedies to prevent the extension of his detention.

To recall, Norayr Nelson Aslanyan is a military commander with a higher military education who served in the Armenian Army from 1991 to 2022. He was awarded the Combat Cross of the second and first degree, as well as many medals of the Military Service of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, for his significant successes in military affairs. From 2021, he held the position of deputy head of the security department in the staff of the President of the Republic of Artsakh.

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