By Robert Zargarian
YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — A woman accused of attempting to “kidnap” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s son was released on Friday, June 9, after a court in Yerevan gave her a four-year suspended prison sentence at the end of a short trial.
Gayane Hakobyan, whose son, Zhora Martirosyan, was killed during the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh, walked free because of pleading guilty to the accusation strongly denied by her until then. She avoided talking to the press after the announcement of the guilty verdict. The final session of the trial took place behind closed doors.
The lawyers who represented Hakobyan for the last two weeks said earlier in the day that she fired them because of disagreeing with their defense tactics. They did not deny that she struck a deal with prosecutors.
“There is a conflict between Mrs. Gayane’s and our positions,” one of the lawyers, Hovsep Sargsyan, told reporters. “We planned on continuing our defense aimed at her acquittal, but Mrs. Gayane is of a different opinion now.”
Hakobyan already replaced other lawyers who represented her right after her arrest on May 17, which sparked angry protests by several dozen other parents of fallen soldiers and hundreds of their sympathizers. That move fueled speculation that she is cooperating with what the protesters condemned as a politically motivated investigation into her argument with Ashot Pashinyan.