-= Hampig Sasunian =- Judge Orders DA To Provide Witness Lis
Posted 16 March 2002 - 10:55 AM
LOS ANGELES—During a hearing Friday on the Sassounian special circumstance retrial case, presiding judge Robert Perry ordered the prosecution to provide a list of witnesses by April 3 that could back the "national origin" claim, on which the district attorney is opting to build its case.
The prosecution proposed to introduce experts who will attempt to prove that the crime for which Hampig Sassounian is serving a life sentence was prompted by the national origin of the victim.
Sassounian is serving a life sentence for the alleged murder of Turkey's Consul General to Los Angeles Kemal Arikan in 1981.
In 2000, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Sassounian's special circumstance, citing irregularities with the prosecution's case at the time of the trial. This ruling provided Sassounian with the opportunity to seek parole.
In September 2001, however, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley opted to retry the special circumstance portion of the case, awakening a 20-year-old case, a move that experts and critics are saying was motivated by the Sept. 11 attacks on the US.
Sassounian attorney Mark Geragos told Asbarez Friday that judge Perry has given Deputy District Attorney Gregory Dohi until April 3 to file his list of "junk science" witnesses as they are called. Geragos will have an opportunity to file his own motion based on the prosecution's list by April 22.
Judge Perry set a May 10 hearing date, at which time he will determine whether the witnesses on the DA's list will be called or not.
"The community needs to come together with me to address the proposed testimony," said Geragos called on the community to become more actively involved in the case.
On February 22, the Sassounian Defense Committee organized a successful fund-raising event, during which more than $70,000 was raised for the defense efforts.
The committee, which has been working diligently since the onset of the case, commended the community for its continuous assistance and urged the community come together and ensure that this case will yield the desired outcome for Sassounian.
2. ARS Elects New Central Executive Board
ATHENS—At the conclusion of its 67th International Convention, the Armenian Relief Society Inc., members elected a new Central Executive Board, which is mandated to lead the organization for the next three years.
A nine-person board was elected composed of the following members: Maro Minassian (Boston), Marguerite Stepanian (Providence, RI), Mayda Garabedian (Philadelphia), Hasmig Derderian (Pasadena), Anahid Meymarian (San Fernando Valley), Houri Nadjarian (Canada), Alvart Petrossian (Armenia), Helen Merdjanian (France) and Silva Moutafyan-Kahtalian (Brazil).
Per the ARS by-laws, alternates are also elected, in the event that one or more members of the elected board cannot complete their term.
The following ARS members were elected as alternates: Sandra Vartanian (Eastern US), Sona Peltekian (Western US), Maro Froundjian (Canada), Karine Hovanesyan (Armenia), Lucy Shangyan (Europe) and Isabelle Atarian (South America).
The four-day meeting was the venue for discussion and planning of the ARS International's upcoming programs and projects and was participated by delegates representing 23 ARS regions around the world.
Posted 16 March 2002 - 11:24 AM
Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:04 PM
On December 29 a California court ordered the conditional release of Sassounian. And on January 27, 2020, despite Turkey's exhortations and statements, a decision was made to release Hampig Sassounian.
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Posted 30 October 2021 - 01:53 AM
Hampig Sassounian freed, arrives in Armenia
Hampig Sassounian in Armenia, October 29, 2021
YEREVAN—After serving almost 40 years in prison, Hampig Sassounian has been freed.
“It is with incredible joy that I write to you from Armenia,” read Sassounian’s brief statement released to the public by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Western US on Friday. “After nearly 40 years, it is my honor to set foot on Armenian soil, breathe its air, drink its water, and feel the warmth of my family and loved ones. I have been overwhelmed by the years of love and support you have given me. They kept me going through the darkest of days. My deepest gratitude to everyone that has written, visited, and kept me in your hearts. I am finally home.”
Sassounian had been serving a life sentence for assassinating Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan in Los Angeles on January 28, 1982. He was 19 years old at the time. He is now 58.
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