The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia issued an announcement Friday after the Supreme Court handed down its verdicts on the "Trial of 31." Below is the translated text of that statement:
On December 12–1997–the Supreme Court of the Republic of Armenia concluded the ongoing trial of "Vahan Hovanessian + 30." As expected–the verdict was the logical conclusion to a political scenario concocted more than two years ago. The so-called "independent" court did not find it within its power to emerge from the path–by which the preliminary investigator and the prosecution had continuously degraded themselves–and issued a verdict based on political considerations–innuendo–fabricated evidence and contradictory statemen’s. These considerations were set in motion in December of 1994–when severe charges were made against the ARF–and subsequent announcemen’s made against the party by high-level government officials and institutions in July of 1995. The main objective of these actions were to–under any circumstances and by all means–remove the political competition–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–from the arena.
Although–the government-controlled judicial branch was unable to establish as truths–the malicious fabrications against the ARF and its activists–the ARF’s views toward the Armenian authorities were determining factors in the court’s decision. Once again–it became evident that even during these detrimental times for the Karabakh conflict–by continuing the persecution and incarceration of Vahan Hovanessian–Manuel Yeghiazarian–so-called "Dro" case defendant Hrant Markarian and other Karabakh freedom fighters–efforts are being made to degrade and dishonor the image of the freedom fighter. It is evident that the leadership has not been able to understand national interests and rise above its narrow-minded political games. The leadership has also been unable to end the use of force against political opposition–and by persecuting people for political their beliefs they are forcing their desired agenda on the masses. Similarly–the leadership did not choose a path of national unity and did not create the mechanisms for establishing law & order and democracy.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council announces that:
Although the leadership’s accusations against the ARF have continuously been refuted–however–instead of punishing their authors–those accusations are being used as basis for the verdict.
The verdict against ARF Executive Council Member Vahan Hovanessian aims at removing the national-political activist from the political arena.
The outcome of the trial proves that the Armenian leadership is being guided not by legal and democratic principles–but rather by a method forcefully applying usurped government leverages.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council condemns the position of the Armenian leadership and assures that it will continue the struggle for its rights–and in the name of establishing democracy and law & order in Armenia. ARF Executive Council of Armenia