The Case of Life Imprisoned Khosrov Avagyan was Forwarded to a New Examination

On April 3 of 2020, Yerevan First Instance Court (chaired by the judge David Balayan) adopted a decision to release Khosrov Avagyan, the previously life sentenced prisoner, by applying the signature on not leaving as a preventive measure.  

In 2008, Khosrov Avagyan was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing 2 people.

On December 28 of 2009, a complaint-application was filed to the European Court of Human Rights on the violation of Khosrov Avagyan’s rights. The advocates of the Protection of Rights without Borders NGO represented the interests of the applicant Khosrov Avagyan before the ECHR.

According to the presented application, during the examination of the case in the domestic courts of the Republic of Armenia, Kh. Avagyan was deprived from the opportunity to investigate the experts and from appealing the expertise conclusions, which had a crucial role in confirming his guilt. Deprivation from such opportunity and adopting a decision on sentencing the latter to life imprisonment led to the violation of the rights prescribed by Articles 6.1 and 6.3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

On November 22 of 2018, the ECHR adopted a verdict on the case Avagyan v. Armenia.

The Court, examining the mentioned facts and the raised issues, discovered that applicant’s demand to hear the experts were groundless. Moreover, as found by the Court, the opinions of the experts had essential role, since based on the latter, the domestic courts should have decided whether the death was caused by the murder or not. The Court accepted that the intervention of the applicant on hearing the experts in the Court was particularly important in case of life sentence. As recorded by the Court, the deprivation of examining and hearing the experts by the domestic courts led to the violation of the principal of equality and competition as prescribed by Articles 6.1 and 6.3 of the Convention.

On March 19 of 2019, after the enforcement of the verdict made by the ECHR, Khosrov Avagyan applied to the Court of Cassation with the support of the advocates of the Protection of Rights without Borders NGO and asked to discontinue the verdict adopted in 2008, the relevant decisions made by the Court of Appeal, Court of Cassation respectively and forward the case for a new examination.

On November 7 of 2019, the Court of Cassation adopted a decision to satisfy the appeal of Khosrov Avagyan, as a result of which the verdict on Khosrov Avagyan and other judicial acts were discontinued and the case was forwarded to the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction for a new examination (public defender Lyudvig Avetisyan).

Khosrov Avagyan has serious health problems, which was confirmed by the conclusion of the Interagency Medical Committee conducted by the “Penitentiary Medical Center”. The Court of General Jurisdiction made a decision to carry out the trail in complete format, which will last for a long period of time. Taking into consideration the above mentioned circumstance, as well as the health condition of Kh. Avagyan from the humanitarian perspective, the Court made a decision to release the life imprisoned prisoner.