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Posted 27 October 2000 - 09:18 AM


PASADENA--The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Thursday, in a 2-1
decision, ruled in favor of lifting the special circumstances in the
Hampig Sassounian case, bringing him one step closer to become eligible
for parole. The Special circumstances prevented Sassounian from applying
for parole, reported a Sassounian Defense Committee spokesperson.
The court, effectively reversed an earlier decision by the district
court of appeals, which ruled that there were no grounds for lifting the
special circumstance. The 9th Circuit Court ruling Thursday, established
that Sassounian should be eligible for parole, given misconduct by the
jury during Sassounian's original trial in 1982.
Sassounian is serving an unfair life sentence(for alomost 20 years),
without the eligibility of parole, for the alleged murder of Kemal
Arikan, the Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles.
This decision will be finalized, pending a series of legal processes.

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Posted 28 October 2000 - 10:07 AM

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Hampig Sassounian May Qualify for Parole
PASADENA--A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the jury in the Hampig Sassounian trial improperly considered evidence, which at the time of the trial resulted in a life sentence without the opportunity of parole.

Thursday's ruling reversed the finding and now allows a parole possibility for Sassounian, who has been in prison since January 1981.

"The jury is to make its decision based on evidence in the courtroom. The decision was influenced by material that was not presented in the courtroom," said Charles M. Sevilla, Sassounian defense attorney.

At the time of the trial, the presiding judge refused to allow testimony from a United Press International reporter, who claimed the Justice Commandos for the Armenian Genocide, in a phone call to UPI, took responsibility for the assassination.

During jury deliberations about the special circumstance, one juror cited the phone call to the UPI reporter.

"The jury foreman remembered that someone had mentioned the phone call after the jury had asked the question about being unable to agree on a special circumstance," Thursday's court opinion reflected.

"There is no doubt the jury received improper evidence," continued the ruling.

The judges held that Sassounian was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to a verdict by impartial and indifferent jurors.

Sevilla explained that the Circuit Court reversed the sentencing enhancement finding that the killing was based on national origin, thus allowing a possibility for a parole application for Sassounian.

Thursday's decision is pending action by the State Attorney General's office, which has not yet indicated whether it would file for a retrial on the special circumstance ruling.

"I'm very pleased that we won some relief for Hampig. His case has been on appeals for over 16 years. It's about time that we obtain the relief on this issue, because it was a very compelling argument that we had made throughout the litigation," Sevilla told Asbarez Friday.

In a phone call with Sassounian Defense Committee member Hasmig Derderian Friday, Sassounian said he was very pleased with Thursday's ruling.

Sassounian also thanked the Armenian-American community for its continued support and encouragement throughout his years of incarceration.

"We are very excited that this case is moving forward," Derderian said, adding that we will also need the support of the community to continue the fight for justice for Hampig Sassounian.

Sassounian was convicted of the 1981 assassination of Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Kemal Arikan and was sentenced to a life term without the possibility of parole.

Thursday's ruling, brings new hope for the Sassounian case, which has been in appeals for almost two decades.

#3 Yervant1


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Posted 15 December 2016 - 11:40 AM

U.S. gives parole to Armenian sentenced over Turkish envoy’s murder
December 15, 2016 - 18:59 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - An Armenian gunman serving life sentence for killing a Turkish diplomat in 1982 has been given a long-sought parole by a board in the U.S. state of California, Daily Sabah reports.

The parole board accepted Wednesday, December 14 the demand of Harry "Hampig" Sassounian, a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA), who killed Kemal Arikan, Turkey's consul general to Los Angeles, on January 28, 1982.

Sassounian was originally sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole; however, he became eligible for parole after admitting his guilt and formally apologizing in 2002. Previous demands by Sassounian were rejected by a parole board in 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2015.

In a statement on Thursday, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the court's ruling.

Sassounian, hailing from a family of Lebanese Armenian emigres, was identified by witnesses as one of the two gunmen. During the trial, the prosecutors indicated that Sassounian "was motivated to kill Arikan by vengeance for the Armenian Genocide committed by the Turkish Ottomans of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923."


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#4 MosJan


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Posted 16 December 2016 - 03:59 PM

i so  this  last  night :)
most Armenian news  didn't report anything.. now that your  posting this  we are good  to go. he still need to go in front of a  judge
his still in Jell

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