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Armenia’s New Prosecutor General Promises to Resume Investigation Into Soldier’s Non-Combat Death

Newly appointed Armenian Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan agrees that the investigation into the 2010 non-combat death of conscript Valery Muradyan was carried out with a number of violations and has promised to reopen it and ensure a fair trial, Nana Muradyan, the soldier's mother, told Epress.am today after a Tuesday meeting with the official. 

Recall, earlier this week, a Yerevan district court refused to reopen the investigation, upholding a 2015 decision by Armenia's Investigative Committee and a 2016 decision by the military prosecutor's office who had dismissed the case into Muradyan's hanging death at a Stepanakert military unit, ruling it a suicide. 

The soldier's family, however, have been arguing for years that their son was murdered and that investigators, namely investigator Arman Apresyan, were deliberately covering up the case.

“There are too many inconsistencies in the case, which I told the prosecutor general about, and he agreed that the investigators did not carry out their responsibilities properly. He promised to reopen the investigation, despite the court decision not to resume it,” Nana Muradyan said. Nevertheless, the woman added that she did not fully trust Davtyan's promises as his predecessor, Gevorg Kostanyan, had also promised at the beginning of his tenure to make sure that the investigations into non-combat army deaths were carried out fairly, but took no actual steps to do it.

In addition, Muradyan said, she had demanded of Artur Davtyan to initiate criminal proceedings against all investigators who "have had a part" in preventing the disclosure of the real circumstances around her son's death. The official, however, insisted that they had already been subjected to disciplinary action and there was no sufficient evidence that they should also be held criminally liable for their actions.