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Governor’s Son Wanted For Attempted Murder


Armenia - Syunik Governor Melikset Poghosian.

A son of the governor of Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province remained on the run on Friday more than one week after reportedly shooting and seriously wounding another man.

According to the Investigative Committee, a group of men led by Karen Poghosian tried to kill on July 14 two residents of the provincial town of Goris reportedly related to a former Syunik governor. One of them was hospitalized as a result.

Poghosian went into hiding immediately after the shooting.

The deputy head of the Investigative Committee, Artur Melikian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that the law-enforcement agency has charged him with attempted murder and illegal arms possession and secured an arrest warrant for him issued by an Armenian court.

Melikian said investigators have searched 16 homes and 10 cars as part of the ongoing probe of the shooting. He said they have sufficient evidence to assert that Poghosian fired an assault rifle during the incident.

The suspect’s father, Syunik Governor Melikset Poghosian, has so far declined to comment on the shooting or his son’s whereabouts. It is not clear if he has been or will be questioned by the investigators.

The Armenian government appointed Melikset Poghosian as provincial governor last December as it faced angry protests against controversial Armenian troop withdrawals which many local residents believe put Syunik’s security at serious risk. The government insisted that the withdrawals are part of a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement that stopped the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh in November.

The anti-government protests were organized by the elected heads of most Syunik towns and villages who publicly demanded Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s resignation. Four of them, including Goris Mayor Arush Arushanian, were arrested earlier this month on different charges rejected by them as politically motivated.

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