New evidence of a scheme of deception in Mariam Gevorgyan’s trial

Currently ongoing at the Universal Court of Ararat and Vayots Dzor Marzes in Artashat is the trial of Mariam Gevorgyan, a victim of violence, abuse and torture at the hands of her ex-husband David Ziroyan and former mother-in-law Haykanush Mikaelyan, the accused in the case currently in court.

Recall, the couple married in 2009, then left for St. Petersburg, where the David’s family lived at the time. Ten months later, Mariam returned to Yerevan and contacted the police, who subsequently charged David with “inflicting willful medium-gravity damage to health” and “battery” to which he pleaded guilty. The general amnesty granted by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on occasion of the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence in 2011, however, was applied to David and he was released. David’s mother continues to face charges of inflicting willful medium-gravity damage to health, as well as torture (RA Criminal Code Article 119).

Members of Mariam Gevorgyan’s family have informed the Women’s Support Center that David’s and Haykanush’s relatives have repeatedly approached them with hush money, requesting Mariam withdraw her complaint. Recall, Meline Bayatian, David’s first wife, was inspired by Mariam’s speaking out and filing a lawsuit against David and his mother and also initially pressed charges of cruel and abusive treatment. However, during the investigation, Meline withdrew some of the charges and later even requested, along with the accused party, that the trial be closed to the public and members of the press, which we don’t understand. Is this a convenience to hide other machinations?

In fact, in an earlier interview to Hetq Online, David publicly admitted to hitting Meline (initially given the pseudonym “Monica” in the press). Yet, Meline, who was once supportive of Mariam, has since become very aggressive towards Mariam’s supporters and doesn’t want to cooperate with them in the case against David or his mother. One wonders what has happened. That David either directly or indirectly put pressure on Meline to withdraw or change her story to improve the case against his mother is not ruled out. Furthermore, there are rumors that after the trial David wants to marry Meline again.

Consider this: on July 21, one of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women volunteers saw David and Meline coming out of a navy blue Opel (license plate number 33 VO 506) and walking into the Mkhitar Gosh Hotel in the village of Gosh, Tavush region. They left the hotel a short while later and went to Goshavank Monastery.

All of this is very suspicious and it is very likely that David aims to mislead the court and pretend that all of Mariam’s physical and psychological scars were a fiction of her imagination.

It’s important to highlight a well-known dynamic in cases of domestic violence: the denial of the abuser of any reponsibility even when all the evidence is brought before him. Secondly, an abuser can be very manipulative and deceiving. Often he creates a honeymoon period when all is well and becomes a considerate and gentle lover — which is then followed by episodes of violence.

We wonder if Meline is reliving the honeymoon phase, and if so, we caution her to be aware of the manipulations of a batterer.

Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women

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