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Armenian Governor’s Son Released from Custody as Victim Recants Testimony

Tigran Khachatryan, the son of Syunik governor Surik Khachatryan, was released Thursday afternoon from the Nubarashen penitentiary. He was arrested in July in connection with the beating on May 2 of brothers Harutyun and Mushegh Zakaryan. The Investigative Committee of Armenia motioned on Wednesday to change Khachatryan's measure of restraint, and today the public prosecutor granted the motion.

According to local media reports, the decision was based on the fact that victim Harutyun Zakaryan recanted his previous testimony, claiming, allegedly, that he did not remember who had hit him in the eye.

Earlier, one of the other suspects, Yurik Manucharyan, said during the confrontation with the victim that he had been the one to hit Zakaryan. 

Note, as a result of the beating, the victim has lost vision in the right eye, while the vision in his left eye has deteriorated by 40% due to inflammation resulting from the injuries.

Gagik Zakaryan, Harutyun's father, said in an interview with Azatutyun.am that he saw no problem with the release of the Syunik governor's son: “If the [other suspects] plead guilty, and the Investigative Committee believes it's true, then I have nothing to worry about. Everyone should answer for himself. If Tigran Khachatryan is tried for inciting, organizing the beating and whatnot, then let him be tried. I needed to know who exactly had hit my son in the eye because that was the heaviest blow.”

Recall, according to initial media reports, Tigran Khachatryan was among around the 4 dozen men who beat up and injured the brothers Zakaryan. In the evening of May 2, the Governor's son, reportedly, entered into a verbal argument with Harutyun and his brother. The young men agreed to meet up later outside of Goris, where the brothers were beat up by more than 40 people, suffering serious injuries.

Prior to Khachatryan's arrest, six others from his inner circle were arrested on charges of causing grievous bodily damage (RA Criminal Code Article 112) to Harutyun and Mushegh Zakaryan.