Friday, August 05, 2005

The trial of journalist Edik Baghdasaryan at the Malatya-Sebastia court of the first instance yielded no results

Today I went to the trial of Natela Saghatelyan, an Uzbek, who is facing charges of trafficking of girls from Uzbekistan, one of her victims is half Armenian and only 17 years old.

This was the forth day of the trial and the first day that I attended.

The trial was to start at noon, but for some reason it didn’t start until 1 p.m. and due to the death of someone close to the translator, the judge continued the case until the 17th, claiming that the translator was familiar with the case and to find a replacement on short notice was not possible.

After announcing the continuation of the trial, judge Vartanyan then asked where Mr. Baghdasaryan was? Edik was not in attendance.

The judge then went off in a rage as it seems that she just finished reading a story that was printed in Aravot newspaper today which criticized the court proceedings, in particular the judge and translator, predicting that the trafficker will be handed down a light sentence.

In judge Vartanyan’s fit, she lashed out at Edik’s reporter who was present and asked the prosecutor and defense attorney if they had shared any information with Edik, as his statements were in her opinion were inappropriate and could only be made by someone who had inside information.

I kept my mouth shut, as the whole thing was absurd and very unprofessional. Here we were at a trial of traffickers and the judge had put Edik on trial.

For those of you who can read Armenian, visit and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

My wife pointed out that when a trial is going to be continued, no one is invited into the courtroom and someone from the court makes the announcement. My wife knows this as her mother is a judge and I’m sure of this also, as when we were attending Mother Pimp Nano’s trial, a few days were canceled in this way. It was clear that today’s court session went on only to confront Edik and what he had written in his story.

In short, the judge made a complete fool of herself and I’m sure that Edik will be writing about this also in the days to come.

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