Armenia’s Prosecutor General Murdered

YEREVAN (Reuters)–Armenian Prosecutor General Henrik Khachatryan was murdered on Thursday–the presidential press service said.

State television–interrupting its regular programs–said that Khachatryan had been shot in his office in Yerevan at about 5 p.m. by another prosecutors office official–Aram Karapetyan.

After shooting Khachatryan twice in the head–Karapetyan–who currently held the post of head criminal prosecutor–then fatally shot himself.

There was no explanation of any motive for the murder and government ministries declined to give more details.

Shocked prosecutors office officials stood by as the bodies of the two men were removed from the prosecutors building–which was cordoned off by police. Two separate ambulances then sped away with the remains.

President Robert Kocharian promised a full investigation.

"Henrik Khachatryan led an active battle to restore the rule of law in the country. I am deeply shaken by this tragedy and express my condolences. I have given the law enforcement bodies an order to uncover all of the details and motives connected with this crime," he said on state television.

Khachatryan–59–had been state prosecutor since May 1997.

Kocharian has launched a battle against corruption in the Caucasus mountain state of 3.8 million people and several high-ranking officials have been arrested.

Earlier this year the head of the national energy company and several of his top assistants were rounded up.

Last month one of the country’s top religious officials–a bishop in the Armenian Apostolic Church–was arrested on charges he conspired with Defense Ministry officials to steal $1 million.

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