14: 50 Presiding Judge Harutyun Movsisyan decided to adjourn the hearing until January 18, 2016, to give time to accused Permyakov's new lawyer to get familiar with case materials.
Before that, Artur Sakunts, a human rights advocate and representative of one of the victims' legal successors, motioned to the judge for the removal from the courtroom of the Russian servicemen guarding Permyakov, since their presence in an Armenian court, he said, was baseless. Judge Harutyunyan, however, dismissed the motion, stating that Permyakov was serving a separate sentence imposed by the Russian side, and the servicemen were there to ensure his safety.
13:20 The trial of Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, accused of murdering seven members of Armenian Avetisyan family in January 12, 2015, began today in Armenia's second largest city of Gyumri with an outgoing hearing of the Shirak province first instance court at the territory of the 102nd Russian military base.
As reported by an Epress.am correspondent, the base, as well as the room where the hearing's taking place is heavily guarded by police and Russian military forces – vehicles are not allowed into the area, while journalists are only allowed to enter after a thorough search.
Permyakov has already been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment by a Russian garrison court in August of this year on separate charges of desertion, stealing and illegally carrying weapons.
Epress.am will provide an update as the trial proceeds
Pictured – Permyakov in a glass cell