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Gyumri Murder Trial Complete; Judge to Deliver Sentence Tuesday

The trial of Valery Permyakov, a Russian soldier accused of killing a seven-member Armenian family in the winter of 2015, was completed on Friday; Shirak district court of first instance judge Harutyun Movsesyan will deliver the verdict on August 23.

The judge on Friday heard closing arguments from Artur Sakunts, a prominent Armenian human rights activist representing the legal successor of one of the victims, and defense lawyer Eduard Aghajanyan. The defendant himself, a former soldier of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia's second largest city of Gyumri who has fully accepted the charges against him, did not wish to make a closing argument and have his “last words.”

Sakunts, in particular, announced in court that the investigation had been incomplete and that officials had failed to establish the actual motives behind the crime. Hence, he insisted, the crime itself “has not been fully revealed either.” Speaking to Epress.am later, Sakunts added that he was  not convinced that Permyakov had acted alone and alleged that “the Avetisyans' might not have been the actual targets.”

Andranik Poghosyan, the father and legal successor of Araksya Poghosyan, the Avetisyans' daughter-in-law, also told Epress.am that he did not believe Permyakov alone would have been able to murder an entire family. He went on to accuse the investigators and the prosecutors, who are demanding a life sentence for the accused, of attempting to “hush up” the case.

Details in the video;