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Retired Armenian Officer's Fraud Trial Starts

Retired Armenian Colonel Volodya Avetisian (left) and other war veterans at a demonstration in support of Nagorno-Karabakh war veterans in May last year.
YEREVAN -- The trial of a retired Armenian military officer who achieved prominence for his activities on behalf of Nagorno-Karabakh war veterans is starting in Yerevan on March 26.

Retired Colonel Volodya Avetisian, who took part in the war over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region in the 1990s, was arrested in September and charged with fraud and bribe-taking.

Avetisian's supporters have staged several protest actions since his arrest, demanding his immediate release.

They insist Avetisian's arrest and the charges against him are in retaliation for protests he launched in May 2013 on Yerevan's Liberty Square to demand the government solve social problems faced by Nagorno-Karabakh war veterans.