‘Armenian Territory’ but Russian Trial

final copy Armenia’s Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan (l.) and Spokesman for the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.

Valery Permyakov, the Russian soldier who is the main suspect in the murder of the Avetisyan family in Gyumri, will be tried in court according to the laws of the Russian Federation. Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president’s spokesman said this during an interview with Galatv.am on January 20.

“Because he is a citizen of Russia, then it is natural that he will be tried according to Russian laws and by a Russian court. It is necessary to note that the leader of the Russian Investigative Committee is working in Gyumri and he has been tasked by the Russian president to work together with Armenian investigators. They are participating in the investigation and that is why the investigation is being realized together. However, there will be a Russian trial and for such a monstrous crime, Russian law is absolutely merciless,” Peskov said.

That same day, Alexander Bastrykin, Head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation had a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Aghvan Hovsepyan and also with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

During that meeting Serzh Sargsyan said that the Gyumri tragedy required steadfastness and “unprecedented consistency” to disclose all the details. He went on to stress that the law enforcement bodies of both Armenia and Russia must continue cooperating effectively to ensure a logical end to the process.

The statement on President Sargsyan’s website said: “At the meeting, the Head of the Russian Federation Investigative Committee, A. Bastrykin, noted that they have reached perfect mutual understanding with their Armenian colleagues and they have a clear idea of what kind of work Russian Federation authorized bodies need to do to support the investigation being conducted by Armenian law-enforcement bodies. Within that frame, the actions carried out by Russian authorized bodies both at the military base stationed in Gyumri and in the Russian Federation territory are directed at ensuring a comprehensive investigation of the crime and all its circumstances, finding the killers and holding them accountable.”

The position of the Russian Federation simply confirmed what Armenia’s Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan had been repeating for the last several days to an outraged public — that the accused would be tried on Armenian territory, he never said by an Armenian court. There is a Russian Military Court in the country’s capital, Yerevan.

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In the early morning hours of January 12, six members of the Avetisyan family were shot in their home and their six-month-old infant Seryozha Avetisyan was stabbed. The accused is Russian soldier Valery Permyakov stationed at the 102nd Russian Military Base in Gyumri. Permyakov was apprehended by Russian military personnel trying to cross the Armenia-Turkey border. He is currently being held in custody at the Russian base. On January 14 and 15 protests took place in Gyumri and Yerevan demanding that the accused be handed over to Armenian authorities and to stand trial in an Armenian court. On January 19, Seryozha Avetisyan succumbed to his injuries and died in hospital in Yerevan. A requiem service for the infant took place on January 20 in Gyumri.