Four Years for Avoiding Two: Editor goes to jail for falsifying military records

An Armenian court has given a four year prison sentence to “Zhamanak Yerevan” daily editor Arman Babajanyan for avoiding military service by means of falsifying documents (article 327 of the Criminal Code).

Babajanyan was arrested on June 26 (see http://armenianow.com/?action=viewArticle&AID=1601). The trial began on August 18. Prosecutors brought two charges against him – illegally avoiding military through faking documents and stealing documents and demanded four and a half years in prison for him. Babajanyan admitted his guilt on the first charge, however did not admit to stealing documents (he was accused of stealing his friend’s marriage certificate and his friend’s son’s birth certificate and submitting them to the military registration and enlistment office after faking them.) The court considered the charge of stealing documents as groundless.

Babajanyan was tried by the judge of the first instance court of Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash communities Mnatsakan Martirosyan. (The same judge gave a suspended sentence to Aghamal “Cukoo” Harutyunyan, a body guard for President Robert Kocharyan, who was convicted of the Poplavak Cafe murder of Poghos Poghosyan in 2002.

The “Zhamanak Yerevan” (www.zhamanak.com) daily continues publishing with editor Liza Chagharyan.