On December 9, 2021, a criminal case was heard at the court of first instance in Shirak region. The accused are the daughter-in-law and the father-in-law, and the victim was the mother-in-law.

Larisa Melkonyan (daughter-in-law) is accused of deliberately harming the health of her husband’s mother, Marina Gevorgyan, on November 27, 2019 at about 09:00 pm, during a quarrel with her husband’s father, Hrayr Gevorgyan, hitting the latter on the head with a cobalt ashtray, causing M. Gevorgyan of bodily injury containing signs of slight harm to health.

In turn, Hrayr Gevorgyan (father-in-law) is accused that on November 27, 2019, at about 09:00 pm, during a quarrel with his son’s wife Larisa Melkonyan, he beat her, deliberately hit her head on the wall and hit different parts of it with his hands several times, causing bodily harm that does not contain signs of minor harm to health in the form of hemorrhage in the forehead, in the left shoulder.

The court session was scheduled for 12:00 pm but started at 12:11 pm.

After the start of the court session, the secretary of the court session introduced the observer of the ISHR to the court. The observer asked the court for permission to take photographs. The court, having clarified the position of the parties (the prosecutor and defendant L. Melkonyan objected, that is why they are not on photos), allowed the observer to take photographs.

It must be stated that since the defendant Hrayr Gevorgyan did not have a lawyer, the court explained to him his right to use the services of a lawyer free of charge. However, within the meaning of Chapter 42 of the RA Criminal Procedure Code, the presiding judge should have raised these issues at the preparatory stage of the court session. The procedural approach chosen by the judge may raise doubts about the timely implementation of the requirements of Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, according to which everyone charged with a criminal offense has the right to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he lacks funds to pay for the services of a lawyer, use the services of a lawyer assigned to him free of charge, when the interests of justice so require.

The court turned to the issue of the limitation period for the actions of the defendants, noting that, according to the RA Criminal Code, the limitation periods for the actions of the defendants passed and were not interrupted, at the same time, the court clarified the position of the defendants on the termination of the criminal proceedings on this basis.

When the defendants gave their consent to the termination of the criminal case on the indicated grounds, the victim M. Gevorgyan jumped up and began to shout at the presiding judge, saying that he was “bribed”. By the decision of the court, the court bailiffs removed the victim from the courtroom. After being removed from the courtroom, the victim continued to shout such offensive expressions at the presiding judge. After the victim was removed from the courtroom, her husband, defendant G. Gevorgyan, also left the courtroom.

It should be noted that the presiding judge did not use the powers of a judge under part 6 of Article 314.1 of the RA Criminal Procedure Code, according to which, if the court considers that a person participating in the criminal proceedings or another person present at the court session such behavior or committed such an act that entails criminal liability, the court applies a judicial sanction against him and applies to the prosecutor with a motion to initiate a criminal case. The court limited itself only to the application against the victim of a judicial sanction in the form of removal from the courtroom.

The court session continued as soon as the defendant Gevorgyan returned to the courtroom. Before the end of the break, the defendant asked the judge to provide him a lawyer.

After the start of the court session, the presiding judge announced the defendant’s petition and postponed the court session on this basis.

The court stated that the time of the next court hearing will be announced through publication in the court information system.