More Defendants May Be Named in Oct. 27 Case

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Militiaman of the guards division of the Interior Ministry’s operative regiment–junior sergeant Armen Gasparian–22–was arrested Monday on suspicion on professional negligence. On October 27–when the terrorist attack on the parliament was made–Gasparian was assigned to post N 2 of the National Assembly building–the entrance from Baghramian avenue–Military Procurator Gagik Jangirian said at a press conference on December 6. He added that there are one or two others who may become suspects in the case. The total number of those arrested in connection with the case has now reached 11. Jangirian does not exclude that the number may still increase.

Jangirian said that besides the five arrested members of the group charged with terrorism and premeditated murder with aggravating circumstances–the gained evidence established that several people–including defendants Nairi Badalian–Ashot Knyazian–Hamlet Stepanian and Mushegh Movsissian–assisted in the terrorist act. Another two persons–Misak Mkrtchian and Norair Yeghiazarian–have been charged with illegal possession–manufacture–purchase or sale of weapons–ammunition or explosives. Pointing out that all defendants are healthy–Jangirian said that only Misak Mkrtchian–a second group disabled–was hospitalized in the medical unit of the holding prison.

The military procurator said that 49 various expert commissions had been assigned–including forensic–ballistic–pyrotechnical–traceological commodity research–dactyloscopic–biological–psychological and psychiatric. 32 expert commissions have already presented their conclusions. Alcohol was detected in the blood of 3 of the 5 members of Nairi Hunanian’s group–heroine was found in the blood of one member.

The examination of the NA meeting hall and adjacent areas revealed 82 cartridges–16 bullets of various calibers. 4 submachine-guns–4 pistols–7 hand-grenades and 1 package with explosives were confiscated from the group members in the meeting hall. Defendant Derenik Bejanian acquired an AKM submachine-gun in 1994 when he was in three-month training assemblies and was still a serviceman. Two more pistols were confiscated from other people–including a member of parliament.

The military procurator said that an expert commission has been assigned in connection with the shot fired from a submachine-gun by the prime minister’s security official. The shot was fired after all the killings. According to preliminary data–no one died or was wounded of Edward Grigorian’s shot. As for defendant Vram Galstian’s not shooting–there are facts and suspicion that "it was not the case." Saying that there is still a need to interrogate Nairi Hunanian–Jangirian said that according to his preliminary testimony given recently–defendant Nairi Badalian was to wait at the entrance to the NA meeting hall so as to inform the group whether Vazgen Sargsyan is in or not.

The military procurator confirmed the information appearing in the press that Nairi Hunanian asked the President of Armenia for a meeting through the Prosecutor General but that plea was rejected by the President.

Jangirian said that over two dozens of theories were put forth during the preliminary investigation and all of them are being overhauled (including political terrorism). There was also a theory suggesting that the action was to have been committed during the previous three-day session of the National Assembly on October 13.

Investigators are now working to establish the involvement of concrete political forces and Mafia groups mentioned in the testimony of the defendants and suspects. The military procurator said he did not mind accepting help of foreign experts but only after the core version of the crime was established.

Jangirian said that the rumors circulating in the press that on the day of the terrorist act there was a man in the parliament chamber giving instructions have in fact been disproved. The man who offered an occasion for such suspicions was the deputy chief of the National Assembly staff–who–according to the evidence available–was trying to lead the staff officials out of the hall. Investigators possess no evidence that used cartridges were picked up from the floor.

Saying that there are no obstacles to the investigation–Jangirian ruled out the possibility of outside participation in interrogations–including Defense Minister Vagharshak Haroutiunian. He stressed that the investigation group would try to complete the preliminary investigation as early as possible and would do everything for the case to be disclosed fully and impartially.

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