11 Officers to be Fired Over Parliament Killings

YEREVAN–Eleven police officers in charge of security in the Armenian parliament will likely be terminated after an interior ministry inquiry has found them responsible for allowing gunmen to enter the chamber and kill eight senior officials–Interior Minister Hayk Harutiunian said Wednesday.

"I can say tentatively that eleven employees of the interior ministry are set to be dismissed from the [law-enforcement] system," Harutiunian told the National Assembly.

The Armenian law-enforcement authorities have been widely blamed for what turned out to be inadequate security in the parliament building. Five gunmen currently in custody seem to have had no problems carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles inside the building on October 27. The ensued bloodbath led to the resignation of the previous ministers of interior and national security.

According to chief military prosecutor Gagik Jahangirian–a junior police officer–who was on duty at the parliament checkpoint on October 27–was arrested on Monday on charges of "negligence."I held a discussion today and will soon issue an order as a result of which those guilty of professional failure will be punished," Harutiunian said–speaking at a question-and-answer session. He said the sackings will be based on the findings of internal inquiry conducted in his ministry. He added that the investigators led by prosecutor Jahangirian will decide whether the sacked officers must be prosecuted.


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