July 30, 2016 - 12:20 AMT
Yerevan: Charges brought against two more gunmen

Two members of the armed group that seized a patrol regiment in Yerevan on July 17, Gagik Yeghiazaryan and Aram Hakobyan were charged with Article 219.3.1 (Occupation of buildings, facilities, means of transportation or communication by an organized group) and Article 235.3 (Illegal procurement, transportation or carrying of weapons, ammunition, explosives or explosive devices).

The group are members of the Sasna Tsrer (Daredevils of Sassoun) movement. One police officer was killed, and several more were wounded in a shootout that broke as the members of the group hit the gates of the police department with a track. All the captives have been set free. The group demand the release of Jirair Sefilian, the founder of the Founding Parliament who was arrested on June 20, as he and a group of people had allegedly planned to seize premises and communication facilities, including the Yerevan TV tower. They also demand the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan and the creation of a transitional government. Also, they want the authorities to halt Karabakh negotiations fearing they are going to cede some lands around the former Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast to Azerbaijan.

On July 27, the gunmen took 4 paramedics hostage, and released only one of them the next day.

Lawyer Lusine Hakobyan said Yeghiazaryan and G. Hakobyan deny the charges. Both are currently detained in an isolation cell at the National Security Service, Panorama.am reports.

The police said on July 27 that the two surrendered to law enforcement authorities, but the armed group denies the reports, claiming both of them were arrested during a shootout with the police.

Four are other members of the group were previously charged with Article 219.3.1 and Article 235.3. Three of them – Ashot Petrosyan, Hovhannes Harutyunyan and Aram Manukyan – are currently in Prison Hospital correctional facility, while the fourth one – Pavel Manukyan – is hospitalized in Erebuni medical center.

All of them were wounded in the shootout with law enforcement authorities on July 27.

The articles envisage jail terms of 6-12 and 3-8 years, respectively.