California parole board to hold hearing on Hampig Sassounian on June 29

Turks in the US are lobbying against the parole of Hampig Sassounian, an Armenian American sentenced for life for murdering Turkey’s consul general in Los Angeles in 1982, Daily Sabah reports.

Turks in the United States have sent 1,000 letters to a parole board, which is expected to hold hearing on Sassounian on June 29.

Hampig “Harry” Sassounian was 19 when he and a companion, who has not been caught, shot and killed Kemal Arikan as the consul sat in his car at an intersection in the Westwood area of Los Angeles.

A group called the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide, to which Sassounian reportedly belonged, called a news service shortly afterward and claimed responsibility for the shooting, and other killings of Turkish diplomats, “to demand justice for genocidal crime in Turkey in 1915.”

Günay Evinch, head of the Turkish-American National Steering Committee (TASC), which is one of the non-profits behind the campaign against parole for Sassounian, told Anadolu Agency that convicts were eligible for a parole hearing every 18 months. He said a parole hearing for Sassounian was scheduled for June 29.

The case will ultimately will be decided by the California governor. Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected previous pleas for parole. He now has six months to approve or reject any verdict by the board.

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