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Trial over soldier behind Gyumri massacre to be held in Russia — Putin’s spokesman

January 21, 2015, 16:34 UTC+3 GYUMRI
Valery Permyakov is a citizen of Russia he is naturally subjected to laws of the Russian Federation
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Armenian man lights candles in memory of a 6-month-old baby and his family slain in Gyumri

Armenian man lights candles in memory of a 6-month-old baby and his family slain in Gyumri

© AP Photo/PAN Photo, Karo Sahakyan

GYUMRI, January 21. /TASS/. Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, who confessed to last week’s outrageous massacre in the Armenian city of Gyumri, will go on trial in Russia because he is a Russian citizen, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“Since he is a citizen of Russia he is naturally subjected to laws of the Russian Federation and it will be a Russian trial,” Peskov said in an interview with local Gyumri television channel Gala TV. “The trial will be in Russia and in this case the Russian legislature has no mercy to such monstrous crimes.”

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said it is important noting that Alexander Bastrykin, the chief of the Russian Investigative Committee, is currently in Gyumri working on the case.

“As instructed by the president he [Bastrykin] jointly works with Armenian investigators… and they jointly conduct the investigation,” Peskov said.

“It was indeed a monstrous, absolutely monstrous tragedy, which is the tragedy both for the Armenian and Russian people,” Peskov said adding that “Russians are also mourning and sympathizing” with Armenians.

Peskov’s words contradict earlier statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who told his annual news conference earlier on Wednesday that the trial into the massacre of the Avetisyan family would be held on the territory of Armenia in collaboration with Russia and would be open and transparent.

“I am confident that the court will bring down an unbiased and adequate verdict - adequate to this appalling crime,” Lavrov said.

According to investigators, on January 12 Valery Permyakov, a private serving at the Russian military base in Armenia, fled his post carrying arms and cartridges.

Later on, he broke into a private house in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, and shot dead a family of six, including a two-year child, and wounded a six-month baby, who later died in a hospital.

Permyakov left his uniform and footwear with badges and his submachine gun and munitions and fled the scene. He was arrested on the same day by Russian border guards while trying to cross Armenia’s border to Turkey and confessed to the crime. If convicted, the soldier faces a life sentence or some 20 years in jail.

A wave of protests hit the country following the mass killing of the Avetisyan family demanding that Permyakov should face trial in Armenia.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Sargsyan in a phone conversation he was confident that the investigation would be held promptly and those responsible would be brought to justice.

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