YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenian authorities have presented a photocopy of an official document sent from Russia acknowledging the receipt of Yerevan’s formal request for the transfer to Armenian custody of a Russian soldier accused of killing seven members of a single family in Armenia last month.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Prosecutor’s Office also said that the request submitted by Armenian Prosecutor-General Gevorg Kostanian in a letter addressed to his Russian counterpart Yuri Chaika on February 3 is “being considered by partners in the Russian Federation.”
The publication of the document dated February 20 follows a series of media publications in Armenia casting doubts that the Armenian authorities have ever submitted a formal request for Valery Permyakov, a 19-year-old solider from the Russian military base stationed in Gyumri, to be handed over to Armenian jurisdiction.
The man charged with killing seven members of the Avetisian family, including a two-year-old girl and six-month-old boy, in a January 12 shooting rampage in Gyumri is currently kept at the base and, as authorities in Moscow say, will be tried by a Russian military court.
On January 15, hundreds of protesters demanding that Permyakov be transferred to Armenian custody clashed with police in the northwestern Armenian city. Prosecutor-General Kostanian promised then that he would seek Armenian jurisdiction over the case.
The statement issued by the Prosecutor’s Office follows protests by relatives of the murdered family, who gathered in the provincial prosecutor’s office in Gyumri on Monday demanding a meeting with Kostanian. They also called on the authorities to provide definitive answers, including on the Permyakov custody issue, and threatened to hold more protests in the city on Friday if their demands are not met.