“The Case of Murder of the Avetisyans is not Exposed Yet”. Human Rights Defenders
“The case of murder of the Avetisyans is not completely exposed yet”. Arthur Sakunts, Representative of the Successor of the Avetisyans, human Rights Defender, said this during the discussion at Media Center.

Yesterday, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Shirak Region, published the sentence of Valerie Permyakov who is accused of killing  7 members of the Avetisyans family in Gyumri on January 12, 2015, according to which Permyakov is sentenced to life in prison.

“Punishing only one Permyakov does not mean that the murder case is exposed. The risk that the Russian military base representatives can again conduct such harassments, endangering the life and health of RA citizens, still exists," Sakunts said.

Avetisyans’ murder investigation was carried out with gross violations and the investigative body did not have the opportunity to conduct a full investigation. It was hindered by the investigative body of the Russian Federation by the initiation of a criminal case on the fact of murder of the Avetisyans family.

“Let's turn to the provisions of the Russian-Armenian agreement that if a Russian military officer commits a crime outside the territory of the Russian military base, a criminal case will be initiated by the Armenian investigative body. This is a negative factor, because the investigative activities carried out by the Russian investigative body did not involve Avetisyans’ successors. In addition, the investigative experiment that was supposed to be performed at Avetisyans’ home, was carried out on the layout," Sakunts said.

The lawyer mentioned another factor, according to which the Russian Federation submits the criminal case only with a note, but RA legislation does not have provision that the states can unite the criminal cases on the same issue. "From this perspective, all evidences become suspicious."

He also noted that it is still unknown how Permyakov appeared at Avetisyans’ home, how he reached the Bayandur border from Avetisyans’ house.

“The court did not make an effort to apprehend the witnesses, and they did not refer the issue of charging the Russian military command at all. The police did not exert much efforts to return Permyakov under the control of the Justice of the Republic of Armenia especially after detecting Permyakov. Moreover, the Court was handed over the control of the Russian military base,” Sakunts said.

He also does not consider Permyakov’s motive to get into Avetisyans’ house to be reasonable, and claimed that the motive for the murder was not identified. "The preliminary investigation body formulated that he entered the house for 6000 AMD in order to go to Russia through. It is not reasonable, what was he going to do in Turkey with the Armenian Dram?"

Avetisyans successor’s representative, advocate Lusine Sahakyan said that it was clear that Valerie Permyakov should be found guilty.

“I think that the main goal of the trial was that such crimes were excluded in the future. We know that the Russian soldiers commit numerous crimes, including heavy ones, killings. It is no coincidence, especially since it became clear during the investigation of this case, how the soldiers are selected to move to Armenia. Armenia is an exile for Russian soldiers. Soldiers who had problems with the Russian Federation, are transferred to the Republic of Armenia. The worst soldiers who conducted apostasies, different types of crimes are moved to Armenia. Permyakov had many health problems, conducted apostasies 8 times, had received psychiatric treatment in many different departments, and in Russia he was forbidden to carry weapons. He was transferred to Armenia, and he was afforded a weapon. He is forbidden to carry weapons in the sense that the doctor found that human life has no value for him," Sahakyan said.  

According to her, the judge is very cautious to make its own decisions against Russia and did not make reference to the fact why Russian officials were not charged for conscripting to the army and gave weapons to Permyakov.

 "Of course, the Republic of Armenia could not judge them, the Russian Federation should do that but they suspended the cases. However, Armenia's court should have proved the causes, as a result of which such crime became possible," Sahakyan added.

Avetisyans family's legal representative, lawyer Artavazd Kiviryan said that the problem is not only defining some kind of punishment for Permyakov, but also to identify all the people whose activities or inactivity caused such an offense.

He noted that they had filed a civil lawsuit, the court accepted and recognized the successors of the victims as a civil plaintiff and the defendant is the Russian Federation. 

 “The court postponed the trial period for 1 month to translate and send to the Russian Federation in order the Russian Federation reflects its position. However, a month later decision was made that the application refuses to accept a case. The issue here is not only that the judge did not want to hear the case against the Russian Federation, yes, there is that fact, but why? Because the civil suit had the factual basis of the circumstances that desertion cases took place, and if the civil claim is accepted by the court, the court had to address those circumstances, the evidence required to make an assessment," Kiviryan said.           

He said that they are dissatisfied with the court’s activity. The court did not have the will, and did not want to discuss the issue against the Russian Federation. This decision was appealed, but the Court of Appeal left without an investigation, arguing that this decision is not subject to appeal.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to [email protected].

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