By Karine Kalantarian
The trial of the terrorists responsible for the October 27, 1999 killings in the Armenian parliament resumed on Monday. Nayiri Hunanian, the leader of the group was answering questions from Edward Aghajanian the attorney representing families of two of the victims’; Yuri Bakhshian and Leonid Bedrossian.
Hunanian in a confident tone merely reiterated everything he has said during previous testimonies; mainly that he did not enter the parliament with the intention to kill, and even if he inflicted harm, the parliament was responsible for the difficult socio-economic conditions prevailing in Armenia and he does not consider himself a murderer.
Attorney Aghajanian asked Hunanian if he feels guilty and if he is ready to repent. Hunanian replied; “ If you call me a murderer, then Yuri Bakhshian was a killer of a whole nation”. He went on to say that former Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkissian was the biggest danger to the country, and “…Yuri Bakhshian was a member of the regime created by Mr. Sarkissian”. Ultimately he refused to recognize any guilt or to repent.
Hunaian also once again declared that he will give fresh testimony only if the Speaker of Parliament Armen Khachatrian answers his written questions. Hunanian was referring to a letter he sent the Speaker last year, asking when were parliament deputies last paid before the date of the attack and in what currency. The purpose of this question for the gang leader is to emphasize the issue that relatively large amount of money found on some victims could not have been from their legal incomes.
The trial is expected to continue this week, with the judge making rulings on a number of requests by lawyers representing victims’ families.