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Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Armenia's Investigative Committee Hasn't Yet Ordered Psych Tests for Russian Soldier Charged with Gyumri Murders

The preliminary examination of the murders that took place in Gyumri on January 12 is being conducted by the Serious Case Division of Armenia’s Investigative Committee.

The murders of the Avetisyan family, in which a Russian soldier has been charged, rocked Armenia’s second largest city Gyumri and the country in general.

While the Investigative Committee (IC) has ordered a number of forensic and ballistic tests regarding the case, Hetq has learned that no psychological or psychiatric exams have been ordered as yet.

In a reply to a Hetq inquiry, the IC said that while no such tests have been ordered, “they certainly will be.”

Attorney Nikolai Baghdasaryan told Hetq that it was vital for such tests to be conducted in a stationary manner, and not on a walk-in basis. That’s to say that the main suspect must be examined in a controlled environment over the course of one month.

“The fact that the Investigative Committee, in its reply, noted that these tests would be conducted in Armenia isn’t correct. They should have simply specified in what appropriate institution of the health ministry the tests will take place,” Baghdasaryan said.

Another contentious issue deals with the form of pre-trial custody selected for the accused, Valery Permyakov. The IC has yet to raise the issue, merely stating that when Permyakov was accused of the murders Russia’s Investigative Committee had already selected physical detainment. Thus, according to Article 135 of Armenia’s Criminal Procedural Code (Basis for Execution of Preventive Measures) there were no grounds for Armenia to implement the envisaged pre-trial preventative measure.

However, attorney Hayk Aloumyan notes that in any case Armenia’s preliminary examination body should have petitioned the courts with a motion to select pre-trial detention.

“There are instances when an individual is accused of committing different crimes in different countries and the courts of different nations simultaneously decide what preventative measures should be enacted,” Aloumyan said.