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Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Daughter Agrees to Exhumation: Claims Her Father was Murdered and Didn’t Commit Suicide

Gayaneh Hovhanyan doesn’t believe that her father, whose body was found hanging from a tree one day after he left his house in the Armenian ton of Ararat, committed suicide as cited as the official cause of death.

And she’s agreed that her father’s body be exhumed to prove that he was murdered.

Gyanjirov Hovhanyan’s body was found on July 26, 2013 near the village ofAvshar, some three kilometers from Ararat.

The daughter believes that two brothers, Narek and Hovhannes Aslanyan, who own a stone factory in Ararat where her father worked for a couple of days, are implicated in the death of 65 year-old.

The Hovhanyan family claims that one day before the incident the two brothers beat Mr. Hovhanyan, accusing him of theft. The family says that prior to July 25, Mr. Hovhanyan returned home in a frightened state and told them that the brothers were out to kill him.

Investigators looking into the death of Mr. Hovhanyan never implicated the Aslanyan brothers in the case.

At a recent Court of Appeals hearing to reopen the case, when asked by the judge if she suspected that her father had indeed been murdered, and if so by whom, Gayaneh replied: “I am sure. It wasn’t Aslan Avetisyan as much as his two sons. They attacked our house the day before.”

Garik Malkhasyan, the attorney representing the Hovhanyan family, then told the court that his clients have agreed to an exhumation of the body of Gyanjirov Hovhanyan to expose the truth.

Ever since her father’s death was officially reported as suicide, Gayaneh has been conducting an investigation on her own. Initially, all her petitions to have the case reviewed were rejected. The pre-investigative body and the state prosecutor found that no one was guilty of inciting her father to commit suicide or of murdering him.

Gayaneh then filed an appeal against these decisions at the Ararat and Vayots Dzor Provincial Court. Her appeal was partially sustained. The court found that her rights, as the legal heir of the deceased, had been violated.

The Ararat state prosecutor did not agree with the court’s findings and petitioned the Court of Appeals, arguing that Gayaneh’s rights hadn’t been violated and that an objective investigation had been conducted.

Before issuing his verdict, Appeals Court Judge Sevak Hambardzoumyan said he wanted to hear the opinion of case examiner Artour Avetyan. He will testify at the next court session.

Top photo: Gayaneh Hovhanyan and her mother.

2nd photo: Gyanjirov Hovhanyan