Armenian Film Producer Collapses And Dies In Court

By Current Time

An Armenian film producer collapsed and died in a Yerevan courtroom where he was facing charges of inciting hatred, raising questions about why authorities ignored defense warnings about the 57-year-old's flagging health.

Video shared by the website showed Armen Grigorian slump suddenly in his chair as his lawyers were pleading his case on July 15, and he reportedly died before medics arrived.

The cause of death was not initially disclosed.

Grigorian was known among post-Soviet filmmakers in the Caucasus for productions exploring regret and redemption, like 2007's I'm Staying; the fateful drama of 2015's An Interrupted Flight; as well as crime and comedic films, including Ticket To Vegas.

His lawyer was seeking a dismissal of the case and said there was no reason for Grigorian to even be in court following his arrest in May.

He was facing accusations of inciting ethnic, racial, or religious hatred under Article 226 of the Criminal Code, according to

Ombudsman Kristina Grigorian has demanded an explanation from the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Justice Ministry regarding Grigorian's condition, his treatment, and the circumstances around his death.

"It is extremely unacceptable and alarming that in the conditions of preliminary arrest in relation to a person in the place of his detention, the right of a person to health protection is not guaranteed, health problems are not identified and eliminated properly, which leads to such tragic consequences," she said.