YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The former commander of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Army Samvel Babayan began a hunger strike Thursday. Babayan’s reason for the hunger strike was the refusal of the Prosecutor’s Office to allow the preliminary investigation and trial of the March 22 case to be held in Yerevan. Babayan is charged with plotting the assassination of Karabakh President Arkady Ghukassian.
In response to the statement by the Prosecutor’s Office that Babayan’s lawyer deliberately drags on the process of studying the materials of the case–the human rights commission of the Constitutional Right Union sent three counsels Wednesday to help Babayan’s lawyer Judex Shakarian. Although the law in Karabakh stipulates lawyers’ right to participate in the preliminary investigation–all three were denied participation.