Human Rights Commission to Discuss Violations in Military

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Six criminal cases regarding crimes committed in the army were sent for further investigation following the findings of the Prosecutorial Committee of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Materials about violations were provided by Ruben Martirossian–former head of the Emergencies Department of the Control and Inspection Commission attached to the Ministry of Defense.

The first case concerns the beating of military investigator Hakob Hakobian by a military unit commander and his deputy–as a result of which the investigator lost his eye-sight and was handicapped. The Military Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the case in relation to both accused officers. The name of the third officer who participated in the beating was not indicated in the investigation’s report.

The second case is about Officer Grigorian who shot Private Zeynalian for committing sexual violence against another soldier. The only eyewitness in this case said that the shot was not an accident as the Officer claimed. The indictment in the materials stated that the major "wanted to hit him with the butt of his pistol–but the pistol slipped out and accidentally went off." As a result–Grigorian was charged with careless handling of weapons. Private Zeynalian was sentenced to two years in prison.

The third case concerns the suicide of Robert Yegoyan. Three fellow-soldiers of Yegoyan were charged with driving him to suicide and were sentenced to 8–7 and 6 years in prison respectively. The Prosecutorial Committee found out that despite the fact that the case was remitted several times for more in-depth investigation–the Military Prosecutor’s Office committed numerous violations and omissions.

The fourth case concerns the murder of Hovhannes Martirossian. The investigation into this case was conducted by investigators Sergey Hovhannissian and Mushegh Hayrapetian. Hayrapetian forged the relevant documen’s trying to make it look like a suicide. After the case was transferred to the Yerevan Military Prosecutor’s Office–the new investigator came to the conclusion that this is premeditated murder. Those responsible for the murder were punished–but the case concerning the investigator who attempted to forge the documen’s was dismissed by the Military Prosecutor’s Office.

The next case concerns the murder of Arman Karakhanian–who–according to the case materials was killed by shots fired by opposition forces at an observation post. The case was dismissed. The Committee arrived at the conclusion that the investigation was conducted with violations and petitioned that the Prosecutor General should revoke this decision and order a thorough investigation of this case. They believe the investigator in this case–Ruben Martirossian–lied in his report.

The sixth case concerns the murder of Vahan Manoukian. Three people were accused in this case. However–the indictment accused them of violating military codes–and failing to execute given order–not for murder.

This case was separated from the main proceedings according to the above-mentioned articles and a corresponding sentence was passed. The case accusing them of murder was suspended because they claim the criminal was not identified and therefore was unknown.

The Committee’s reference also mentioned the name of one of the investigators – Edik Hovsepian–who currently works as an aide to the prosecutor of the Syunik region.

The Committee suggests that Hovsepian be subjected to disciplinary actions for the serious violations he committed in investigating a number of criminal cases.

In response to the accusations set against him–Ruben Martirossian said that the Prosecutorial Committee did everything it could.

However–he said that the fact that the revision of these cases was entrusted to the Military Prosecutor’s Office again–whose staff proved to be incompetent–was alarming.

For its part–the Presidential Human Rights Commission–which initiated the establishment of the Prosecutorial Committee–is going to call a meeting soon to discuss the results of the Committee’s work.


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