Relatives of a senior Armenian police officer who was found shot to death in his car said on Friday that they believe he was killed and could not have committed suicide.
Colonel Koryun Harutiunian, who ran the police department of a district just north of Yerevan, was found dead on Thursday morning in his car parked by his parents’ grave near the central town of Hrazdan. Harutiunian, 50, had a gunshot wound to his head.
Law-enforcement authorities did not publicly suggest any theories of the shooting. Still, they opened a criminal case under an article of the Criminal Code dealing with cases where people are “driven into suicide.”
The Special Investigative Service, a body subordinate to state prosecutors, on Friday declined to comment further on the criminal investigation conducted by it.
Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) on behalf of Harutiunian’s extended family, Arman Yeghiazarian, a nephew of the shot policeman, ruled out the possibility of a suicide. “He had a strong and stable character,” said Yeghiazarian. “He would never do uncalculated and reckless things.
“When rumors began circulating that he may have committed suicide we were shocked and surprised that one could even think of that. He just wasn’t that kind of a person.”
“In our view, what happened was a crime and Koryun Harutiunian was killed,” added Yeghiazarian.
Yeghiazarian said at the same time that the family has no clues about possible reasons for Harutiunian’s murder. The officer had no known enemies, he said. “Deeply trusting the police, we believe that the case will be solved and the truth will surface,” added the nephew.