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Defendant Killed Ex-Wife in ‘Pre-Planned’ Murder, Victim’s Sister Claims

“He had come prepared, with a knife, to kill my sister. Let him not claim that Heghine incited him [to kill her],” Kristine Darbazyan, the sister of a Yerevan woman who was fatally stabbed in September last year by her ex-husband, told a Yerevan district court Saturday, March 12. 

The witness insisted that the incident was a pre-planned murder, alleging that the accused, 39-year-old Artak Arakelyan, had made sure in advance that the victim, Heghine Darbazyan, would be alone in the store she worked at.

“He had given their son money and told him to go have fun with a friend at the square so that he could go to the store and kill Heghine. Let him not claim that he [stabbed the victim to death] because she admitted to cheating on him,” Kristine Darbazyan said. She added that the accused had previously threatened, on multiple occasions, to kill Heghine, and had once even described in detail how he was going to do it in the presence of their underage daughter.

Edgar Kakhetyan, the first police officer to arrive on the scene after Darbazyan was killed, also took the stand Saturday. The witness, however, failed to give detailed testimony about the incident, and gave a negative answer to presiding judge Robert Papoyan's inquiry as to whether he had tried to find out the cause of the murder upon arriving to the scene.

“The witness’s testimony was basically about nothing. It's like he had had plugs in his ears during the entire process of identifying and arresting the suspect,” Seda Safaryan, the lawyer for the victim's successor, objected, drawing the attention of the court to the contradictions between Kakhetyan's pre-trial and current statements.

“He had written that he knew at the scene who killed whom and for what, and now he says nothing. In the police car, he had said, Artak did not even try to hide what he had done and showed no remorse for his actions. But now, in court, [the witness] says he knows nothing,” Safaryan stated.

The judge, however, considered the lawyer's remarks unimportant and insignificant and let the witness leave the stand without further questions.