Trial of Gyumri Massacre Suspect Continues as Witnesses Testify

Valery Permyakov during trial. (Source: Armenpress)
Valery Permyakov during trial. (Source: Armenpress)

Valery Permyakov during trial. (Source: Armenpress)

GYUMRI(Armenpress) — The trial of Valery Permyakov, accused of killing 7 members of the Avetisyan family, resumed at the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri. The first witness to testify was resident of Yerazgavors Michael Khlghatyan.

The witness stated that on the night of January 12 he was driving near the Armenian-Turkish border and saw someone from a distance and later heard gunshots. He thought they were hunters so he assumed it was nothing serious and he left.

The lawyers questioned him regarding his testimony given prior to the trial, which states that he approached a “Willis” car parked by the border, which was to be used to transport Permyakov, and inquired about him. The witness replied that the he does not remember what he wrote because it happened a year ago.

There was also conflicting information in the testimony of the border detachment’s driver. When asked why he took the secret way to the gate while transporting Permyakov instead of taking the usual way, the driver, Mamikon Harutyunyan, answered that he doesn’t know and that he was obeying orders.

The witness was also asked whether or not Permyakov had been interrogated by the border detachment commander and his deputy in the car. The driver said that he only heard them ask if he was the soldier who left the military base and where the weapon was. Harutyunyan did not hear any other questions.

`The deputy commander of the border detachment, State Border Defense Department Head Davit Mirzoyan was also questioned. He said that as soon as he learned about the incident, he ordered to carry out constant surveillance of the border.

Answering how long they have the right to keep someone in their detention, the witness said that if the person is unknown, they have the right to keep him for three hours and then must transfer him to the police, the National Security Service or to the agency that declared him a fugitive.

The witness also said that Permyakov was arrested as a fugitive, not as an Armenian-Turkish border violator. Another important factor that Mirzoyan mentioned is that Permyakov’s transfer act was signed by the then- commander of the 102nd military base Andrey Ruzinsky and deputy commander of Russian border troops “Bayandur” border station Colonel Sergei Merzlikin, in the presence of the police.

The next court session over Permyakov’s case, will be held on March 11. Romik Khachatryan the last witness, summoned from the border unit in 2012, who is currently on vacation, will be notified to appear in court.

During this time, the court determines the location of Permyakov’s 7 colleagues of the 102nd Russian military base, including the direct commander of the accused – Nikishin.

Avetisyans’ family members lawyer Yervand Varosyan said the testimony of these witnesses is very important for the consideration of the case. According to him, some of these soldiers were demobilized and others were transferred to other units for the service.

“Russian leadership could easily assure the presence of persons, who have not demobilized, at the trial, and what refers to those who no longer serve, it is necessary to clarify their addresses and alert. It is required to be performed by law, ” Varosyan said.

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