Home / Video / Investigation Into Armenian Soldier’s Death Deliberately Delayed, Family Say

Investigation Into Armenian Soldier’s Death Deliberately Delayed, Family Say

A year has passed since the death of 20-year-old conscript Harutyun Hambaryan at an army unit in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the case is still under preliminary investigation. The relatives of the deceased soldier claim that the investigation is deliberately being delayed as investigators are anxiously trying to officially confirm Hambaryan's death as suicide. 

“We are unhappy with the results of examinations and the investigator's work. We've repeatedly motioned for the recusal of the investigator and the military prosecutor, but to no avail. I am convinced that my brother was killed, and that there are a lot of people involved in his murder,” the soldier's sister, Hasmik Hambaryan, told Epress.am.

According to the findings of the forensic medical examination, she added, Harutyun was not shot at point-blank range, which, the sister believes, might indicate that he did not commit suicide but was shot by another person.

 “Additionally, there were traces of vomit on my brother's clothing which could have been the result of a concussions he'd received before his death. That is, by brother had previously received a blow to the head.”

Officials have denied the relatives' numerous motions for forensic testing of Hambaryan's clothes, citing the lack of a gunshot wound below his head. Accordingly, there would not be any gunshot residue on the soldier's clothes, hence the needlessness of an examination.

The absence of identifiable fingerprints on the weapon, the soldier's sister claimed, also “proves that they are deliberately destroying evidence.”

“During post-mortem psychiatric assessment, investigator Nver Avetisyan asked the experts leading questions, trying to lead them into thinking my brother's suicide had already been proven. He'd ask, 'What was Hambaryan's mental state at the moment of suicide?” and experts would reply, 'It's impossible to say in what state of mind Hambaryan was at the time of suicide or prior to it,'” Hasmik Hambaryan said.

“On May 8, it'll be a year since the murder of my brother, and despite the egregious facts [that prove he was killed], no one has been charged with his death,” she added.

The first head investigator of the case, as stated by Hasmik Hambaryan, was for some unknown reason replaced by Nver Avetisyan, who, after his appointment, was also promoted to major.

Several fellow serviceman, among them Davit Harutyunyan, Smbat Hayrapetyan and Sasun Hakobyan, had earlier been arrested for allegedly inciting the soldier to suicide but were subsequently cleared of these charges. The relatives have already filed a motion for their re-involvement in the case.