Russian Soldier Convicted of Murder of Gyumri Family May Serve Sentence in Russia
YEREVAN—Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, who was convicted of murdering an Armenian family of seven in Gyumri, may serve his life sentence in Russia, according to Armenia’s Ministry of Justice.
Permyakov admitted to murdering the middle-aged couple, their daughter, son, daughter in law, and two-year-old granddaughter in Jan. 2015, while fatally wounding the seventh member of the family—a six-month-old baby boy.
A Russian military court sentenced the soldier to 10 years in prison for desertion and theft of firearms in a short trial held in August 2015. Following that, a court in Gyumri sentenced Permyakov to life in prison in Aug. 2016. Armenia’s Court of Appeals later upheld the guilty verdict.
Ever since he was arrested, Permyakov has been kept custody at the Gyumri headquarters of the Russian military base.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Lusine Martirosyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the Ministry is discussing the future of his imprisonment since both Armenian and Russian courts handed down verdicts. “Through these discussions we want to make sense of legal grounds for organizing his serving his prison sentences,” said Martirosyan.
Martirosyan did not specify when the ministry’s recommendation will be made and added that the discussions involve only ministry officials.
Following the murders, Moscow officials said that Permyakov can only be tried by a Russian court because Russia’s constitution prohibits extradition of Russian nationals to foreign states. Armenians feared that this might have been a Russian attempt to cover up the killings.
Thousands demonstrated in Gyumri in Jan. 2015 to demand Permyakov be handed over to the Armenian side. Riots even erupted with the police outside the Russian consulate. Eventually, Russian authorities agrees to place the case under Armenian jurisdiction.
Source: Armenian Weekly
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