Fired Police General Arrested

Hovannes Tamamian was arrested Thursday

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—A recently-sacked Armenian police general was arrested on Thursday on charges of murder cover-up that could land him in prison for up to six years.

Major-General Hovannes Tamamian, the controversial head of the Directorate General of Criminal Investigations at the national police service, was promptly remanded in pre-trial custody.

Tamamian and the police chief of Yerevan’s Arabkir district, Colonel Varuzhan Adamian, were dismissed late last month for what state prosecutors described as a botched police investigation into a murder committed last year.

The prosecutors say police investigators overseen by Tamamian deliberately failed to prosecute the murder perpetrator and charged another individual instead, presumably in return for a massive kickback.

President Serzh Sarkisian expressed outrage at the alleged cover-up when he met with high-ranking police officials last week. He branded Tamamian as an “immoral” person who has shamed the Armenian police.

In a statement, the Office of the Prosecutor-General said Tamamian has been charged with abuse of power that was committed for “mercantile or other personal motives” and resulted in “severe consequences.” A corresponding article of the Armenian Criminal Code carries a prison sentence of between two and six years and a three-year ban from public office for such crimes.

A court in Yerevan allowed the Special Investigative Service (SIS), a law-enforcement agency subordinated to the prosecutors, to keep Tamamian under arrest pending trial. It was not immediately clear if the police general pleaded guilty to the accusation.
Tamamian has for years been one of Armenia’s most controversial law-enforcement officials. He is thought to have played a major role in police crackdowns on the Armenian opposition ordered by former President Robert Kocharian in 2004 and 2008.

Tamamian was also implicated in the May 2007 death of a man in police custody. Levon Gulian, a Yerevan-based restaurant owner, was found dead after being questioned at the Directorate General of Criminal Investigations. The police claimed that Gulian fell to his death while attempting to escape from a second-floor interrogation room.

Gulian’s family vehemently rejected this theory, saying that the 30-year-old father of two was tortured to death by police investigators. It claimed that Tamamian personally interrogated the victim. The police denied that.

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3 Comments

  1. manooshag said:

    Hye, the police in Haiastan are still imbued with the ‘communistic mentality’… Since communism has been proven a form of government which is NOT for the people, NOT of the people, and NOT to exist in today’s Haiastan – in any manner or form – in goverment!
    However, the communistic mentality, which had been forced upon Haiastan (while of the USSR) obviously conintue in so many of Haiastans government institutions – still are of the communitic attitudes, SADLY. Thus, until the Serge leaderships and as well, other ‘governances’ (Dept. of Agriculture, etc.) and, ESPECIALLY the police of Haiastan operate as if they are still to be obeyed, as under communism!
    When current leaderships are removed, replaced, ONLY then will Haiastan, whose future leaders, all, must be PATRIOTS – leaderships that are worthy and deserving FOR CITIZENS OF OUR HAIASTAN.
    Then, too, more Armenians shall see our Haiastan as worthy of their return – citizens of Haiastan. Manooshag

  2. manooshag said:

    Addendum: Too, such governmental attitudes are as remnants of the Turk governments against all the non-Turks – over past generations – and as well, continued into 2011. Manooshag

  3. zohrab said:

    if the head of police is like this imagine how the lower ranking are

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