Saturday, July 09, 2005

Even the Court Supports the Pimp
[July 4, 2005]

See also: Armenians in the Dubai Sex Trade

On May 25 th, The Court of First Instance of the Kotayk Province, Judge Gagik Heboyan presiding, issued a decision that is a classic example of the support pimps receive in the Armenian legal system. These pimps have been selling Armenian women into sexual slavery in Dubai for years. But they are given a slap on the wrist by the courts, and released as soon as possible so they can get back to work.

This time, the court had received a request from the administration of the Abovyan prison to release notorious pimp Marietta Musayelyan before the end of her sentence. Why the prison sought an early release is anybody’s guess.

At the trial, Judge Hakobyan determined that, “Prisoner Marietta Musayelyan, who was sentenced on February 10, 2005 [actually, she was sentenced on November 3, 2004] to one year and six months in prison in the first hearing by Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash Court according to Paragraph 1 of Article 262, Paragraph 2 of Article 325, and Article 66 of the Criminal Code the Republic of Armenia. Her imprisonment began on November 5,2004 ; ten months and ten days remain until it ends.”

The court reviewed the request, hearing testimony from a representative of the prison and from the prisoner herself, and taking into consideration the nature of the crime, the character of the prisoner, and the fact that although the prisoner did break prison rules during her incarceration, she subsequently changed her behavior (after talking to the head of the prison), participated in cleaning of the premises, performed her chores properly, and regretted the crimes she committed, thus proving that she had learned her lesson.

Based on the above and in accordance with Articles 434 and 484 of the Armenian Criminal Code, the court granted the prison’s request. Marietta Musayelyan was released on parole, eleven months and ten before the end of her original sentence.

The decision could be appealed in the Armenian criminal and military court within fifteen days.

How did Judge Gagik Heboyan come to take such a favorable view of Marietta Musayelyan? That something that only he and the prison administration can answer. Who gave the order to send the case to court so quickly, and to release the pimp before she had served even half her time? The prosecutors alone could find that out, but only if they wanted to. They had fifteen days to appeal the court’s decision, but they did nothing.

Edik Baghdasaryan

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