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Armenia: Trial Of Parliament Killers Postponed

Yerevan, 15 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The trial of 13 men charged in connection with the murder of eight senior officials in an October 1999 attack in the Armenian parliament adjourned today because one of the defendants failed to appear before the court. It will resume next Thursday. Fifteen months ago the world watched in horror as five men opened fire on the Armenian parliament in Yerevan. Eight people died in the carnage, including Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and parliamentary speaker Karen Demirchian.

About 200 supporters of the assassinated officials today gathered outside the courthouse to demand a tough punishment for the attackers. Security forces have cordoned off the area surrounding the court building in central Yerevan to prevent possible violence.

The politically sensitive trial follows a year-long criminal inquiry into the attack by military prosecutors. The trial is expected to last several months, with more than 100 witnesses due to be called up for questioning.

For more on this story, please see Armenia: Shootings Trial Opens In Yerevan.