An Armenian court today found Russian soldier Valery Permyakov guilty of murdering six members of a Gyumri family on January 12 of last year and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
A six-month old boy, stabbed with a bayonet, died later in hospital.
Judge Harutyun Movsisyan, of the Shirak Regional Court, did not specify where Permyakov, a 19-year-old conscript soldier of the Russian 102nd army base, would serve his sentence.
The nine-month trial failed to reveal a motive for the mass murder.
Artur Sakunts, an attorney representing relatives of the slain Avetisyan family, noted in his closing remarks at the previous trial session that the entire process was replete with deficiencies and that certain forensic examinations were never conducted.
According to Sakunts, the blood found on Permyakov’s clothes didn’t match his nor that of any of the members of the Avetisyan family. The lawyer said the court failed to follow up on this contradiction.
The lawyer also noted that none of the Avetisyan family’s neighbors were questioned. Neither was it clarified how none of the family were awaken by the sound of 28 bullets being fired.
Sakunts also noted that none of Permyakov’s immediate army superiors or his army buddies were questioned.
The court also rejected the lawyer’s request that a reenactment of the crime, with Permaykov participating, be conducted. The defendant also opposed such a reenactment.
During the high profile trial, Permyakov refused to testify. Only his pre-trial statements were entered into evidence.
When asked how he would describe a person who had murdered an entire family, including children, Permyakov replied, “I would regard that person as a lunatic, but I am not a lunatic.”
Permyakov also deferred when it came to making a closing statement.
When asked if he would appeal the verdict, Edward Aghajanyan, the Russian soldier’s defense lawyer, said he would have to confer with his client.
None of the Avetisyan family relatives, nor their attorneys, were present at court when the sentence was announced.