Norayr Aslanyan, colonel of the Artsakh Defense Army, has been illegally detained for about five months

Norayr Aslanyan, a colonel of the reserve forces of the Artsakh Defense Army, who was awarded the first and second degrees of the Combat Cross order, has been illegally detained in the "Yerevan-Kentron" penitentiary for about five months.

The decision to detain Colonel Aslanyan, who is accused in the alleged illegal trafficking  of weapons and ammunition, was made by the General Jurisdiction Court of Yerevan, presided over by Judge Karen Farkhoyan. The decision to extend the detention as well as to reject  the defense’s motion to replace the detention with an alternative means of securing appearance were made by the same presiding judge.

"It is remarkable how ungrounded accusation and inappropriate reasonings have been applied to formalize the deprivation of freedom of a military man. Colonel Aslanyan, the deputy head of the security department in the staff of the President of the Republic of Artsakh, is accused of possessing weapons and ammunition that were legally provided to him," attorney Armen Andrikyan noted.

According to the defense attorney, it is also noteworthy that the criminal prosecution against Norayr Aslanyan was assigned to the Head investigative department of the RA National Security Service, but it is not clear why a case of an alleged crime is being investigated by the main investigative department of the National Security Service of the RA instead of RA Investigative Committee. This further comes to support the fact that the proceeding against Norayr Aslanyan transcends a  purely legal context and has other hidden goals.

Due to the confidentiality of the pre-trial proceedings, the defense team cannot provide more details at the moment, but they believe that the basis of the case is an absurd accusation from a legal point of view. The lawyers have presented evidence directly refuting the accusation to both the court and the body conducting the proceedings, but for unknown reasons, neither the court nor the body conducting the proceedings made any reference to this evidence.

Previously, the law enforcement system presented two arguments justifying the decision to detain Norayr Aslanyan: firstly, that the military officer could obstruct the investigation, because he enjoys authority among the public, and secondly, that he could hide from the investigation by leaving for Artsakh. After five months of investigation and the complete depopulation of Artsakh, the defense finds it puzzling how the reasons for obstructing the investigation and the potential escape to Artsakh are relevant.

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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