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Ex-President’s Nephew Becomes Suspect In Attempted Murder Case


Armenia - Hayk Sarkisian (in a black T-shirt), son of Aleksandr Sarkisian and nephew of Armenia's ex-president Serzh Sarkisian, accompanied by investigators near his Yerevan apartment, July 4, 2018

Citing the emergence of new evidence, investigators in Armenia have reopened a criminal case in which former President Serzh Sarkisian’s nephew, Hayk Sarkisian, is a suspect.

According to a statement released by the Investigative Committee on Thursday, Hayk Sarkisian is suspected of attempted murder in a case that was closed more than a decade ago.

The Investigative Committee said Yerevan resident Davit Simonian suffered a gunshot wound in an incident that took place on April 1, 2007. The same day a citizen identified as A. Ghevondian told police at the time that he wounded Simonian as a result of mishandling a gun that he allegedly found in the street. Ghevondian also brought with him the gun in question, the report added. The Investigative Committee said proper proceedings were launched then but the case was eventually closed after the parties reached reconciliation “on the grounds of the absence of a complaint.”

“Due to new circumstances that have emerged, on July 3, 2018, the prosecutor-general of the Republic of Armenia made a decision to resume the 2007 criminal proceedings and forward the case to the Investigative Committee’s unit operating in Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts. The same day, an investigator took up the case and launched other necessary investigative and procedural actions to clarify the circumstances of the case,” the Investigative Committee said.

“As a result, sufficient evidence was obtained to show that Simonian was wounded not as a result of Ghevondian’s mishandling a weapon, but as a result of a shot deliberately fired by another person. According to the data of the investigation, Yerevan resident Hayk Sarkisian, born in 1984, shot with the intention to kill the person.”

According to the law-enforcement body, investigators carried out the necessary actions with the participation of Hayk Sarkisian, including his interrogation, and on July 4 Sarkisian was granted a procedural status – he is suspected of committing a crime envisaged by part 1 of Article 34-104 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (attempted murder). “The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the Investigative Committee said.

Hayk Sarkisian was arrested late on Wednesday following nearly nine hours of a search conducted at his father Aleksandr Sarkisian’s Yerevan apartment. Aleksandr Sarkisian was also briefly detained for questioning as part of a separate investigation concerning his other son, Narek.

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