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Russian Soldier Jailed for Life for Killing Armenian Family May Serve Sentence in Russia

Armenian and Russian justice authorities are discussing where and how Valery Permyakov, a 20-year-old conscript of the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri, will serve his life sentence for murdering six members of an Armenian family in January 2015, deputy justice minister Vigen Kocharyan confirmed in a conversation with News.am. A spokesperson for the North Caucasus District Military Court, in turn, has provided the press with more detailed information, saying to the Russian RIA Novosti that Permyakov “will, of course, serve his sentence in Russia.”

Note that Permyakov has not actually been handed over to Armenian law enforcement authorities after his conviction and is still being kept in Russian custody in the territory of the 102nd military base.

Speaking to Epress.am on Friday, human rights defender Artur Sakunts, legal representative of victim Araksya Avetisyan’s father, said the injured party could no longer do anything to prevent Permyakov’s transfer to Russia. “After the sentence enters into legal force, the injured party no longer has any relation to the defendant. Of course, there may be complaints and emotional outbursts regarding the extradition, but that’s it. This is now a problem of how the Armenian state defends the rights of its citizens,” Sakunts noted.

The human rights defender added that Permyakov’s future extradition to Russia was predictable right from the get go: “He was kept in Russian custody during the proceedings, he was interrogated inside the base and was not even taken to the Avetisyans’ house to recreate the crime scene. That’s why all those protests [in Gyumri] were held. After, inside the base Permyakov was among other possible participants and organizers of the murder. The court, however, persistently denied all our motions to isolate Permyakov.”

According to Sakunts, Arasya Avetisyan’s legal successors do not consider the case solved; they also do not believe that all those responsible for the Avetisyans’ murder have been held responsible and intend to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.