MOSCOW, August 16 (RAPSI) – Businessman Aram Petrosyan, charged with taking hostages in Citibank and terrorism, has pleaded guilty in part, RAPSI correspondent reports from the Moscow District Military Court on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the court began hearings in the case. The defendant asked the court to permit former investigators of this case, Maksim Kichigin, to join the trial as a lawyer. The motion was dismissed.
Medical examination has found that Petrosyan is suffering from psychological disorder not requiring compulsory treatment, but affecting his ability to take independent decisions, his lawyer Stanislav Maltsev told RAPSI earlier.
According to investigators, on the evening of August 24, 2016, Petrosyan entered a branch of Citibank at Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street in central Moscow, where he took four people hostages. He threatened to trigger explosion of an object resembling a bomb. After several hours, he released all hostages and surrendered. The bomb that he threatened to explode turned out to be a hoax.
The Investigative Committee stated that Petrosyan wanted to bring attention to his problem and did not want to kill anyone.
Before capture of hostages, a video has been released on the Internet, featuring a man resembling the one who took hostages. Video message was published under the name of Aram Petrosyan. In particular, he said that on August 24 he is going to commit "violation of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation". He said that he intends to commit a crime because of bankruptcy, which, according to him, turned into epidemic in Russia.
He demanded Russian authorities to create a body that would deal with the issue of bankruptcy.