A deputy chief of Yerevan’s police department has been cleared of any wrongdoing in an official inquiry into allegations that he illegally interfered in a criminal case involving one of his relatives.
Colonel Valeri Osipian has been on the defensive since his 22-year-old nephew Sedrak reportedly stabbed and wounded another young man in a dispute that occurred in Yerevan’s Nubarashen suburb in June.
A local resident, Smbul Hovannisian, said shortly after the incident that the police officer asked her to have her son confess to the crime and thus save Sedrak Osipian from imprisonment. Another Nubarashen woman, Susanna Karapetian, claimed to have witnessed the conversation. Valeri Osipian strongly denied those allegations.
The Special Investigative Service (SIS), a law-enforcement body subordinate to state prosecutors, launched criminal proceedings against Osipian later in June. The latter was not suspended pending investigation.
It emerged on Tuesday that the SIS, citing a lack of evidence, has decided not to press charges against Osipian. Hovannisian condemned the decision and said she will challenge it in court. “The fact that Osipian has not been punished means that his nephew will also avoid prosecution,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Sedrak Osipian has been on the run ever since the stabbing. His uncle claims to be unaware of his whereabouts.
Valeri Osipian is in charge police units dealing with rallies and other public gatherings held in Yerevan. He has been a fixture at just about every major anti-government protest staged in the Armenian capital in the past several years.