The Armenian Court of Appeal on Monday upheld the lengthy prison term passed by a lower court on a former presidential candidate convicted of plotting to assassinate a rival.
Vartan Sedrakian, a maverick politician who contested the February 18 presidential election, was sentenced to 14 years in jail in September after the court of the general jurisdiction found him guilty of hiring two other men for the purpose of murdering Paruyr Hayrikian, a veteran politician and Soviet-era dissident who also participated in the race as a candidate.
Khachatur Poghosian and Samvel Harutiunian, the convicted perpetrators of the January 31 attack in which Hayrikian received a non-fatal gunshot wound, had withdrawn their incriminating pre-trial testimony against Sedrakian, who himself had all along protested his innocence, but the court still backed the prosecutors’ claim against the self-styled scholar specializing in Armenian epic poems.
Sedrakian’s lawyer Alexander Sirunian said after the Appeals Court trial that they would further take the case to the Court of Cassation, the highest instance of the three-tier judicial system in Armenia.
Meanwhile, Hayrikian, who also appeared dissatisfied with the lower court sentences, said he had filed a civil lawsuit demanding compensations equal to more than $100,000 from the convicted criminals.