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Suspect Dies After Court ‘Escape Bid’


Armenia -- Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Districts, undated

Armenia -- Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Districts, undated

An Armenian criminal suspect has died at a hospital after an unsuccessful escape attempt from a Yerevan court, law-enforcement and judicial authorities said on Wednesday.


The man, Gagik Ghazarian, was arrested on May 14 and formally charged with large-scale drug dealing two days later. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries from a the court on Monday, shortly after being remanded in two-month pre-trial custody.

According to Alina Yengoyan, a spokesman for Armenia’s Court of Cassation, Ghazarian fell to the ground while attempting to get away through a window in the second-floor courtroom. Yengoyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the incident occurred more than 10 minutes after the judge who handed down the ruling and his secretary left the room.

It is not clear why police officers guarding Ghazarian failed to keep him from opening the window or whether any of them will face prosecution or disciplinary action. The police have said only that Ghazarian’s death was the result of an “escape attempt.”

Yengoyan also said that the suspect had a prior drug-related criminal record and decided not to hire a lawyer after his arrest.
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