3681) "Is Patrick Devedjian (Advocate of Chirac, Close Adviser of Sarkozy who Fight for Rights of ASALA and Monte) a Terrorist? -You decide!"

"Is Patrick Devedjian (Advocate of Chirac, Close Adviser of Sarkozy who Fight for Rights of ASALA and Monte) a Terrorist? -You decide!"


''Since my childhood, my father told stories about Armenia, about the exploits of Arabo, Zoravar Andranik, about how Musa-Dag was defended, and, of course, about the reasons which forced us to leave our native lands. He constantly told me: "You are Armenian, you are from Armenia'', Patrick Devedjian, personal advocate of Jacques Chirac, close adviser of Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview with Le Figaro.

Devedjian was born in Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne. He is the grandson of the Armenian zoologist and Ottoman bureaucrat Karekin Devedjian. His father was born in Sivas, Ottoman Empire and arrived in France after escaping the Armenian Genocide by a miracle. In France he met his future wife, Monica Valua, with whom he got married in the Armenian church. . .
After Patrick was born, the family moved from Paris to the small town of Antony. Devedjian received his early education in an Armenian school in Sèvres. It was important for Roland Devedjian that his son studied in an Armenian school. After graduating from the school Patrick decided to continue his education in the Faculty of Law.

Along with jurisprudence, Patrick was interested in politics and social activities. During his study at the Paris School of Political Science, he joined the youth left front and quickly gained the position of one of the leaders of the movement. Since 1964, Patrick Devedjian actually began his political career, and in 1971 joined the Rally for the Republic (RPR) party.

For a long time Patrick defended the interests of his party members in courts of various instances and did it so successfully that one of the party leaders, Jacques Chirac, noticed him.

''Once, Jacques Chirac asked me to lead a team of lawyers in one of the cases related to him personally. Since then, I have represented the interests of Jacques Chirac 20 times during the court hearings and have always won,'' recalls Devedjian.

In 1978, Patrick was elected to the municipal council of his hometown, Antony, and in 1983 Devedjian was elected Mayor of the city. ''My father was always complaining that there were no Armenian buildings in the city. After my election, a small church and a school were built, despite the fact that there were practically no Armenian families in the city,'' said Devedjian.

In 1981, members of the Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) seized the Turkish embassy in Paris. Operation "Van" not only played an important role in the struggle for the solution of the Armenian question, but also rallied Armenian communities around the world.

Patrick Devedjian was one of the first to call on his compatriots to unite and showed by personal example that every Armenian should have their participation in the struggle.

He refused to take part in elections of Mayor because he had to defend four young Armenians during the court hearings. ''I didn’t hesitate at all; the honor of the Armenian community was at stake. At that time, Armenians of France woke up after a long hibernation'', said Devedjian.

The defense team included Patrick’s best lawyers, friends and colleagues. Devedjian and his team have ensured that the chairman of the court banned the participants of the hearings from calling the defendants terrorists instead demanding to use the term "combatant" (fighters).

"It was extremely important for the society to understand the essence of the issue, the origins of the Armenian question. Terrorism and genocide are what were committed against the Armenian people, but the people sitting in front of you are not terrorists, they are descendants of the victims of terrorism and genocide'', Devedjian emphasized during the first day of the hearings.

During the sentencing and after it a number of significant events occurred. When the defendantss were asked to stand up everybody in the court (mainly Armenians) stood up. And when it came to the financial compensation which had be paid to the consulate, French-Armenian singer Rosy Armen sang the song "Wake up, Lao" after which everybody begun to sing.

After this case Devedjian returned to politics and in 1986, he also became a Deputy in the National Assembly. In 1995, Jacques Chirac declared candidacy for French presidential election and appointed Devedjian as his personal adviser, and after Chirac’s victory in the elections, Patrick Devedjian was appointed as his personal adviser on political issues.

The most important issue of the agenda of Armenian community of France was the question of the official recognition of the Armenian Genocide by France. In a short period of time, Devedjian managed to raise this question.

Despite certain resistance of the president himself, in 2001 the law on "Official recognition of the fact of the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1923 in the Ottoman Empire" was adopted, and the French President had to sign it.

"Jacques Chirac was an ardent supporter of Turkey and actively supported its membership to the European Union, but after visiting Armenia and seeing Tsitsernakaberd, after feeling all the warmth of the Armenian people and the Armenian land, he realized that he was deeply mistaken," Devedjian recalled.

After the 2007 presidential election and Nicolas Sarkozy’s election as President of the Republic, Devedjian became the President of the ''Union for a Popular Movement'' party. Devedjian was re-elected as Deputy of National Assembly six times. During those years he demanded financial support for Tavush Province in Armenia.

Also, thanks to Patrick Devedjian’s efforts the "Friendship group with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" was created, which included influential politicians from across the country. By the way, one of the many cases won by Patrick during his practice as lawyer is the case of Monte Melkonyan (Avo), who died in Karabakh. In 1982, he was arrested in Paris on charges of traveling with false documents, as well as of being implicated in the attack on the Turkish consulate in Paris.

Devedjian is an active fighter for the rights of representatives of the Armenian Diaspora and for criminal prosecution for denying the Armenian Genocide.

In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Miliyet, in an answer to the question how long he's going to struggle, Devedjian replied: "Until death."



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