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Former Security Chief’s Death ‘Still Investigated’


Armenia - Georgi Kutoyan, the newly appointed director of the National Security Service, February 12, 2016.

Investigators believe that Georgi Kutoyan, a former head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) found dead one year ago, committed suicide, a senior law-enforcement official said on Thursday.

“It has been corroborated, through not only investigative actions but also forensic tests, that it was a suicide,” Artur Melikian, the deputy head of the Investigative Committee, told reporters.

Nevertheless, Melikian said, a criminal investigation into his death is continuing.

The 38-year-old Kutoyan, who ran the NSS during the final years of former President Serzh Sarkisian’s rule, was found shot to death on January 17, 2020 at a Yerevan apartment belonging to the family. The Investigative Committee opened at the time a criminal case under an article of the Armenian Criminal Code dealing with suicides “induced” by others.

The law-enforcement agency said earlier this month that the probe has been suspended because investigators have not identified anyone who might have driven Kutoyan to kill himself.

Melikian insisted, however, that the probe is still not over even though “we have no suspects or accused individuals.”

“We do not maintain that [Kutoyan] was driven to the suicide,” he explained. “We only say that the investigation was launched into an induced suicide because we could not characterize the case under a different article at that moment.”

Kutoyan was appointed as director of Armenia’s most powerful security agency in February 2016. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian sacked him in May 2018 immediately after coming to power in the “Velvet Revolution” that toppled Sarkisian.

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