Investigation into Stolen Missiles Completed

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Military Prosecutor’s Office completed investigation of the criminal case initiated in connection with the theft of ammunition from four military units in Armenia. The case was sent to court. The criminals tried to remove air-defense missiles and launchers from Armenia.

Leading the investigation is Eduard Giulnazarian. The case involves 17 people–which includes nine officers and one warrant officer. Among the accused are the deputy commander in charge of ammunition–head of the headquarters–storemen–and the head of the anti-aircraft artillery service. All the accused pleaded guilty. Close to 50 expert examinations have been made. The case includes 25 volumes of materials along with over 1,000 witnesses

In December of last year–at the Baghratashen customs house–agents of the Ministry of National Security initiated criminal proceedings against three citizens in connection with smuggling. According to the smuggler–he was exporting components of satellite antennas purchased in Yerevan to sell them in Tbilisi. The investigation which lasted from December 30–1999 to August 21 of this year showed that the customs officers had discovered 12 war-heads of 9M39 missiles of the anti-aircraft complex IGLA. Containers along with another seven missiles were also found. The preliminary investigation proved that the principal defendant in the case Artur Melikian purchased 19 missiles–paying from 2 to 4 thousand American dollars for each (each such missile costs $50,000). Melikian intended to sell the missiles to foreigners.

The investigating committee also disclosed the aggravated murder of two citizens–Svetlana Martirosova and her son–Georgy Martirossian. Both murders were committed by the principal defendant Melikian: he murdered the son for mercenary reasons–and his mother in order to cover up the traces.

Giulnuzarian pointed out that for the purpose of explaining the reasons for such crimes a voluminous application addressed to Minister of Defense Serge Sargssian is under preparation. According to Giulnuzarian–such thefts would be impossible if ammunition were properly registered. Giulnazarian pointed out that besides the 10 soldiers liable for criminal responsibility–a number of other people are liable for administrative and disciplinary responsibility.

The case will be considered by the lower court of Yerevan’s Nor-Nork district.


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