Victim’s Widow Points At Siradeghian As Murder Plotter

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Larisa Lalayan–the widow of the victim Artur Hovhannissian testified in court Wednesday. She confirmed her husband’s words that then interior minister Vano Siradeghian ordered the killing of Moscow-based Armenian entrepreneur Serge Jilavian–and–according to Lalayan–he undoubtedly ordered the killing of Artur Hovhannissian and Karen Rafaelian. The minister privately or through mediators promised to grant Hovhannissian the "Dvin" hotel and an apartment if the task was a success.

Lalayan testified that her husband told her about the assassination attempt after its failure and his return to Yerevan because he believed his wife had better find out the details from him rather than learn it from television: the criminal participants in the assassination attempt were arrested. They told everything on TV. Hovhannissian told his wife that Rafaelian had introduced him to his friend–an agent of the Department of Internal Troops Norayr Tadevosian at the latter’s request. Tadevosian said that they should go to DIT Head Vahan Harutiunian because "there is an affair". In Harutiunian’s study an order was issued to kill Jilavian but the witness did not know who exactly had issued the order–Tadevosian or Harutiunian. Hovhannissian could not refuse to execute the order without endangering his life and the lives of his relatives but he was not going to execute the order but intended to inform Jilavian of the plot.

Larisa Lalayan said that her husband always carried a gun and never concealed this fact from anybody. It did not surprise her–as Hovhannissian worked for the Interior Ministry as an anti-terrorism agent under Nver Chakhoyan’s leadership.

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