YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–Prosecutors in a trial of a group of men allegedly involved in an interior ministry gang set up by former interior minister Vano Sirdaeghian–Monday handed down indictmen’s which pointed an accusatory finger at Siradeghian as the master mind of the crimes–for which defendants are facing charges.
The lead defendant in the case–a former interior ministry police officer Armen Ter-Sahakian is being charged with leading a gang which committed murders and used intimidation tactics against opponents. This group was created by Siradeghian and Ter-Sahakian served as its leader since its creation in 1992 until his arrest in 1998–days before Siradeghian resigned from his position as Yerevan mayor.
A 34-volume indictment–presented by the state prosecutor at Yerevan’s Avan and Nor Nork districts–said the murders of Ashtarak district chief Hovannes Sukiasian in September 1992 and Armenia’s railroad director Hambarstum Ghandilian in May 1993 were carried out by the so-called "Ter-Sahakian gang" at Siradeghian’s orders.
The prosecutor asserted that following Ghandilian’s murder–Ter-Sahakian had briefed Siradeghian–following which the members of the so-called gang were incorporated into the interior ministry staff.
The group is also charged with committing the failed assassination attempt against then deputy prosecutor-general Vladimir Grigorian and a string of other offenses–including robbery and racketeering.
The prosecutor also charged that Ter-Sahakian and his band of eight accomplices affixed sirens and lights to their vehicles and disguised as law-enforcement officers–would stop vehicles–search them and seize money and valuables from the drivers.
The court session was adjourned until June 9.