An Armenian court sentenced a former mayor to 3½ years in prison for fatally shooting the head of a local electric utility during an argument last year, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Armen Keshishian was sentenced by the Kotaik district court on Friday after being found guilty of the September 2005 killing of the utility director, Ashot Mkhitarian, in Nor-Hajn, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the capital, Yerevan, Golos Armenii newspaper reported.
Weeks after the shooting, Keshishian was re-elected mayor of Nor-Hajn while still in police custody. The federal government later forced him to resign.
According to Armenian media reports, the two men were childhood friends, but had a falling out when the mayor blocked a construction project that Mkhitarian was involved in. Both men were carrying guns during a heated argument on September 24, 2005. Keshishian shot Mkhitarian 14 times, according to media reports. Lawyers for Keshishian planned to appeal.
The trial was closely watched by Armenians, many of whom outraged that Keshishian could have won re-election even from behind bars.