Moscow and Yerevan to jointly investigate Gyumri murder

An investigation against Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, who is suspected of murdering an Armenian family in the city of Gyumri, will be conducted in Armenian territory, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said, referring to committee head Alexander Bastrykin.

An investigation against Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, who is suspected of murdering an Armenian family in the city of Gyumri, will be conducted in Armenian territory, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said, referring to committee head Alexander Bastrykin.

"When coordinating the work of investigative groups, Bastrykin and chairman of Armenia's Investigative Committee Aghvan Hovsepyan agreed that the parties would work jointly in order to ensure a comprehensive, complete and objective inquiry as part of the criminal cases opened in both countries," Markin told Interfax.

Bastrykin "assured his counterpart that an investigation and a trial of serviceman Permyakov will take place exclusively in the territory of Armenia," Markin said.

"The criminal inquiry and all procedural measures connected with it will abide by the norms of international law, the January 22, 1993 Convention on Legal Aid and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Cases, the March 16, 1995 Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia concerning the presence of a Russian military base in the territory of Armenia, as well as the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia on judicial and mutual legal assistance in issues linked with the presence of the Russian military base in the territory of Republic of Armenia, dated August 29, 1997," the spokesman said.

"Today, the heads of the two countries' Investigative Committees also met with President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and informed him of the course of this joint inquiry. They assured him that the person guilty of this cruel murder would be punished with the utmost vigor of the law," Markin said.

During his visit to Armenia, Bastrykin was also brought up to date on the progress made in the investigation opened against Permyakov, Markin said.

According to earlier reports, a family of six, including a two-year old child, were murdered in Gyumri, northern Armenia, on January 12. The only survivor, six-months-old Sergei Avetisyan, was hospitalized with a stab wound. He died on January 19.

Valery Permyakov, a serviceman from Russia's 102nd military base, who is deployed in Gyumri, was detained shortly after the attack. He is now on the territory of the military base. Criminal charges were brought against him on January 14 based on the Russian and Armenian Criminal Codes.

On January 15, protests broke out in Gyumri. Their participants demanded that Permyakov be handed over to the Armenian justice system. Fourteen people, including five policemen, were hospitalized after clashes between the demonstrators and police.

On January 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan to again extend his condolences to the victims' relatives and all people of Armenia in regard of the tragedy in Gyumri.

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