YEREVAN (Lragir.am)—Siranush Papyan of Lragir.am recently sat down with lawyer Yervand Varosyan, a representative of the Avetisyan family’s legal successors, to discuss the on-going proceedings in the case of Valery Permyakov, the Russian military conscript accused of murdering six members of the Avetisyan family in January.
Permyakov was found guilty by a Russian military court last Wednesday of desertion, stealing of firearms and ammunition, and illegally carrying weapons. Permyakov is due to be tried by an Armenian court for separate charges of murdering a Gyumri couple, their daughter, son, daughter-in-law and two young grandchildren. The date of that trial is still not known.
Mr. Varosyan, everyone is discussing the hastiness of Permyakov’s trial. What was the reason, in your opinion?
I cannot tell you the reason but hastiness and hurry was obvious. The examination of the case, consisting of 74 volumes, lasted several hours. Obviously, all the parties were in a hurry, including the court. However, at the moment I cannot tell why.
During the trial Permyakov’s testimony as to why he had broken into the house of the Avetisyan family was published. How convincing was his reasons for killing seven members of the family? In particular, he first had said that he had gone in to drink water and now he is saying that he went in to take money.
He had suggested the new version of the story and made a new testimony which was published. Besides his testimony being or not being convincing, we must stress a more important circumstance in order to consider his words convincing. During the trial I was interested in his behavior, which was not adequate. The impression, was that the person [Permyakov] did not know what process he was taking part in. It was the first impression for a viewer. I think that Permyakov’s behavior in the court is enough for our investigators to make a decision on a psychiatric examination.
What makes you say that? That Permyakov pleaded guilty right away or was indifferent?
His behavior was mostly weird. Obviously, this is not a matter of insanity, this person can account for his steps but I think a forensic examination is a necessity to have a better sense of his mental image.
His verdict will be effective in a few days. Then the trial of the manslaughter will start. Will Permyakov be transferred to the Armenian side or will the Russian side accompany him to and from the court room?
We have the following in the form of official statements: the trial will be held in accordance with legislation of the Republic of Armenia, by an Armenian court. There is no new factual circumstance in these statements. Will he be extradited or not, whether he will stand before the General Jurisdiction Court of Shirak or not, or will the judge of the Shirak Court go to the Russian military base to conduct the trial? We still don’t have the answers to these questions.
Hence, the developments are still obscure, and is the Russian side doing what it wants?
In fact, yes.
Will the fact that Permyakov will be under Russian jurisdiction and may not serve his punishment in the Russian military base influence his behavior?
You know, it is not straightforward. I don’t think that the Republic of Armenia is a state which may violate the rights of the accused in such a scandalous case as Permyakov’s, so that he would feel shy under the jurisdiction of the Armenian law enforcement agencies. Hence, I don’t think that if Permyakov is extradited to the Armenian side, the Republic of Armenia will not be able to ensure his security. It is natural that Armenia can do it. And I will not comment on how it will influence his behavior.
Formerly, you mentioned that even if they transfer the case to the Armenian side, the motive of the crime will not become known. During the trial this opinion was confirmed when Permyakov pleaded guilty for everything, but doubts about his motive still remained.
I would not make judgments on whether he pleads responsibility for his crime, whether he had committed the crime indeed. Nevertheless, I underscore his psychological description. I wish the Armenian experts gave that description. After all, if it is about excuses that Permyakov gives for the murder of seven people, I need a psychologist’s opinion for a final evaluation.
What will it bring?
If we have that conclusion, it will be possible to tell whether everything is in its right place or if new questions should be considered.
Mr. Varosyan, where will Permyakov serve his punishment?
After publishing the verdict the Russian judge said Permyakov will stay at the prison of the military base, and considering that the Armenian trial is ahead, and as I said, we don’t know whether he will be transferred or not, as of now we cannot suggest where he will serve his punishment after the Armenian court passes a verdict.
Now that it is clear that Permyakov does not intend to speak, how will the advocates receive answers to their questions?
We will try to get [the answers], let’s not forget that Permyakov will be the accused, he will have the right to exercise the rights of the accused, but in any case we will exercise the right to ask our questions and we may receive answers to our questions.