The ongoing criminal investigation into last May's mass explosions of balloons in Yerevan's Republic Square will be conducted in an expeditious manner.
The motion to expedite the trial was filed by defendant Serob Bozoyan, who is facing heavy fines and up to five years in prison under Article 279 of the Armenian Criminal Code dealing with the production and sale of goods not meeting safety requirements and and causing harm to two or more people.
The 54-year-old defendant announced at today's court meeting that he needed a public defender. Besides, he complained of health problems and said he had six ulcers and two hernias.
The court session was adjourned till Sept. 28.
Only 43 of the 228 people, who sustained injuries and serious burns during the balloon blast, attended the sitting.
Hundreds of gas balloons exploded in Republic Square on May 4, 2011, during an election campaign meeting organized by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The explosion was followed by fire, with melted rubber falling on the event participants. At least 154 people were hospitalized with serious burns and injuries. Some of them underwent plastic surgery. Later it was revealed that the balloons were filled with inflammable natural gas by several individuals in a Yerevan apartment. Bozoyan is one of them.