LOS ANGELES–A motion to dismiss the retrial of the special circumstance of the Hampig Sasssounian’s life sentence was heard Monday at the Criminal Courts building–as defense attorneys argued that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that national origin was a motivating factor for the alleged crime–for which Sassounian is serving a life sentence.
Judge Robert Perry asked for further briefing on the preliminary hearing that took place more than 20 years ago–during which two jailhouse informan’s testified that Sassounian admitted to the murder of Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Kemal Arikan–because of his nation origin.
The only evidence on record from that hearing is the testimony of Geoffery Busch and Manuel Cortez. Both of their testimony was proven false and both informan’s said they were lying under oath.
Without the testimony of the two informan’s–there is no evidence that this was racially motivated crime–therefore the charge must be dismissed–said Attorney Mark Kassabian of the law firm of Geragos and Geragos–who is assisting lead trial attorney Mark Geragos on the Sassounian defense.
Judge Perry will hear the briefing on Friday–after which he will rule on the motion to dismiss.
Assistant District Attorney Gregory Dohi–who is prosecuting the case–went on record Monday as saying that without the Cortez testimony there is no record in the court–which would corroborate the claim of national origin.
"It was a good hearing," said Kassabian who opined that "I think when the judge sees the whole picture of what went–he’ll dismiss the case."
On February 22–the Sassounian Defense Committee organized a successful fund-raising event–during which more than $70,000 was raised for the defense efforts.
The committee commended the community for its continuous assistance and urged the community to come together and ensure that this case will yield the desired outcome for Sassounian.