“Zhamanak” says that the first trial of Valery Permyakov, a Russian soldier accused of slaughtering an Armenian family in Gyumri, has not provided answers to many lingering questions about the January 12 tragedy. In particular, the paper says, the precise times when Permyakov deserted his unit and when Armenian law-enforcement bodies were informed about his disappearance remain unclear. Also unclear are some circumstances of the killings. “This gives some people reason to presume that perhaps that the crime was not perpetrated by one person,” says the paper, adding that this can only fuel various political theories.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that during the one-day trial Permyakov looked like he is “not an ordinary person.” “Permyakov’s behavior during the 10-hour trial did not match the official description of his actions,” comments the paper. “According to the official version of events, Permyakov is a young soldier who spontaneously picked a gun, broke into a house, shot dead its sleeping residents, got confused, changed his clothes, and, not knowing what to do, headed towards the Turkish border. But in the court we saw an individual with steely nerves and incredible composure who has calmly suppressed his emotions.”
“Who are you, Valery Permyakov?” “Haykakan Zhamanak” goes on. “What was the real motive for brutally killing those sleeping people?”
“Zhoghovurd” reports that the Armenian military has accused Azerbaijani forces of again heightening tensions along the Karabakh “line of contact” and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The paper quotes Vahan Shirkhanian, a former Armenian deputy defense minister, as saying that another upsurge of ceasefire violations in the Karabakh conflict zone is unlikely to lead to a full-scale Armenian-Azerbaijani war. “I don’t think that Azerbaijan will be so foolish as to start a war,” says Shirkhanian. He believes that Azerbaijan would have avoided any provocations on the frontlines and tried to lull the Armenian side if it had really planned to restart the war. Baku is only keen to clinch more concessions from international mediators, he says.
“Hraparak” says that few in Armenia were surprised when it emerged recently that Tigran Khachatrian, a thuggish son of the controversial regional governor Suren Khachatrian, was exempted from compulsory military service on the grounds that he suffers from a mental disorder. The paper doubts the veracity of that diagnosis. It is also worried that Tigran Khachatrian, who is now under arrest, could use his alleged illness to avoid imprisonment for a brutal assault widely blamed on him.