Ara Zakaryan, the lawyer who defending journalist Tigran Petrosyan, one of the fourteen political activists arrested in Yerevan on November 5 last year when they attempted to stage a protest march on the Presidential Palace, has told reporters today that the charges aginst his client have been changed from “assaulting a representative of the government” to “hooliganism”.
Petrosyan has spent the last five months in pre-trial detention.
Zakaryan has always claimed that Petrosyan was trying to intervene and defuse the confrontation between cops and protesters on November 5 and that he never assaulted anyone.
The lawyer has petitioned the pre-investigation body in order to ascertain the basis for the hooliganism charge.
Zakaryan says the new charge is just another pressure tactic as payback against the journalist.
The lawyer has also filed a petition that his client be freed on bail.
38 protesters were taken into custody on November 5, 2013 when they set off fireworks as they made their way from Liberty Square to the Presidential Palace.
Fourteen were eventually charged and have been in detention ever since.