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Gunshot Fired At Yerevan Judge’s Office


Armenia - People wait outside a district court building in Yerevan, January 9, 2012.

A gunshot was fired on Tuesday evening at the window of the office of a district court judge in Yerevan.

The Armenian police were investigating the incident on Wednesday after being alerted by the judge, Tatevik Grigorian.

A police spokesman said police officers inspected the double-pane window and found a bullet stuck in between its two layers of glass. The outer glass was mostly shattered by the gunshot, he said, adding that forensic tests should shed more light on the shooting.

Grigor Bekmezian, a member of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) overseeing Armenian courts, spoke to Grigorian and called for a “comprehensive investigation” into the incident

“I understand that she is not very worried about it because she believes that in all likelihood it was an accident,” Bekmezian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “But of course the investigation will clear that up.”

“In any case, the SJC believes that such things must be ruled out and we will strive to have an objective picture as to whether it was an accident or a deliberate act,” he said.

Grigorian, 33, was appointed as a judge in 2015 and has since handed down rulings on various criminal cases. The most high-profile of those cases stemmed from the arrest in 2016 of Zhirayr Sefilian, a radical opposition figure who challenged Armenia’s former governments.

Sefilian was accused of plotting an armed revolt against then President Serzh Sarkisian’s government, a charge which he denied as politically motivated. Grigorian sentenced him to 10.5 years in prison and gave shorter jail terms to six other defendants in March 2018. Armenia’s Court of Appeals shortened those sentences and freed all seven men on parole in June 2018 nearly two months after Sarkisian was overthrown in a popular uprising.

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