Valery Permyakov, a conscript of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia's second largest city of Gyumri, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of murdering a local family of seven in winter last year.
Recall, six members of the Avetisyan family, including a 2-year-old girl, were shot to death on January 12, 2015, in their Gyumri home. The family’s seventh member, 6-month-old Seryozha Avetisyan, was hospitalized with serious stab wounds and died 7 days later.
Valery Permyakov, the only suspect in the case, was arrested the following day near the Armenian-Turkish border and was handed over to Russian military officials by Russian border guards. The latter stimulated a protest of thousands of people in Gyumri who demanded that the investigation of the case and Permyakov's trial be conducted by Armenian authorities. Months later, Russia finally agreed that Permyakov be tried by the Shirak district court of first instance.
During the course of the trial, which was being held in a makeshift courtroom on the premises of the 102nd military base, the lawyers for the victims' legal successors announced multiple times that Armenian officials had failed to conduct a complete investigation, failing therefore to establish the actual motives behind the crime. Prominent Armenian human rights activist Artur Sakunts, in particular, insisted that the crime itself had not been fully revealed and that he was not convinced that Permyakov had acted alone. Sakunts also alleged that “the Avetisyans' might not have been the actual targets" of the gruesome crime.