The state prosecutor in the continuing trial of police general Hovhannes Tamamyan has demanded a four-year prison term for the defendant, also insisting that he must be excluded from senior posts in state and local government bodies for two years.
During the hearing at Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash Court on Tuesday attorney Harutyun Harutyunyan also demanded that the other two defendants in the same case get suspended 2.5-year jail terms and petitioned for them to be released from the courtroom.
Major-General Tamamyan, who formerly headed the Police’s Directorate General of Criminal Investigations, was arrested in March 2011. He was charged with covering up a murder and a failed murder attempt.
The other two defendants in the trial, former police officers Armen Poghosyan and Vahan Khanzadyan, stand are accused of power abuse resulting in grave consequences.
The three defendants pleaded guilty at the hearing last week and asked the court for a speedy trial. (Earlier, however, Tamamyan’s lawyer had repeatedly stated that his client did not admit his guilt). Tamamyan’s plea last week gave rise to media speculations that he could be quickly convicted, sentenced and released already by the time of parliamentary elections in May.
In particular, citing the legislation under which in such circumstances the court cannot pass a sentence that would be stricter than two-thirds of the maximum punishment envisaged by the Criminal Court, the opposition Haykakan Zhamanak daily suggested that the maximum six-year jail term envisaged for the crimes Tamamyan is charged with committing, may be reduced to four years in jail and, furthermore, the defendant may get a suspended sentence considering his numerous state awards.
Meanwhile, the state prosecution’s petitions on Tuesday clearly confused the counsel for the defense. Tamamyan’s defense attorney Vaghinak Gevorgyan insisted that his client had “more mitigating circumstances” and, therefore, better qualified for a suspended sentence.
“Why four years?... Because we all know that Tamamyan must be sentenced to imprisonment, otherwise such a petition would not have been made,” stated Gevorgyan.
The trial will continue on March 23, with Tamamyan’s attorney making a speech in his defense.