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Moscow bank assailant recognized mentally competent — lawyer

September 09, 17:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 9 /TASS/. Entrepreneur Aram Petrosyan accused of hostage taking at the Citibank branch in central Moscow is mentally competent according to results of a forensic psychiatric expert examination, lawyer Stanislav Maltsev told TASS.

"Yesterday, my client underwent a forensic psychiatric examination. The doctors concluded that he was mentally competent," Petrosyan’s defense lawyer said adding that the final results would be known in the next ten days.

A man ,who called himself Aram Petrosyan (born 1961), stormed a Citibank branch located at 15, Bolshaya Nikitskaya street, 800 meters away from the Kremlin, at around 18:30 on August 24. He threatened to blow up a bomb. A small yellow box wrapped in a cello tape from which wires were sticking out hang around his neck. The man said he was an entrepreneur from the Moscow region who produced first aid kits before he went bankrupt. The explosive device turned out to be a hoax and the yellow box was filled with salt.

Petrosyan pleaded guilty on all the charges but said he had not wanted to kill anybody. His aim was to draw attention to the bankruptcy problem in Russian society.

The Moscow Presnya Court arrested Petrosyan on August 24. He will stay in custody until October 24. The entrepreneur is accused of taking two or more people hostage by using an object as a weapon. He is facing from six to fifteen years in prison.

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