About 4 years have passed since the death of 20-year-old Arsen Mkhitaryan, a conscript of one of the military units of Tavush region. On July 3, 2016, the body of Mkhitaryan with a fatal gunshot wound to the chin was found at the Luys military base in Mehrab. Immediately after the incident, the soldier’s death was officially classified as suicide, according to Article 110, Part 1 of the RA Criminal Code.
The soldier’s father, Arthur Mkhitaryan, however, is convinced that his son was killed, and the preliminary investigative body is not interested in revealing the murder; moreover, he is being “intimidated”. Lusine Mkhitaryan, the soldier’s mother, told reporters on the day of her son’s death that they had given $700 to Vahan Yayloyan, the battalion commander, to transfer Arsen to another battalion.
Shortly after the video was released, Artur Mkhitaryan was visited by the Prosecutor’s Office and told that the words in the video constituted a report about a crime under the article of giving a bribe.
“In the video, my wife was upset and cried and said, ‘You scoundrels, bribe-takers, you took the money to move my child to another battalion and ate it, took it and killed my child.’ And people, without taking into account my wife’s mental state, are suing us, “the father of the killed soldier told Forrights.
After the initiation of the criminal case, the phone calls started. The police inspector, his deputy, even the acting head of the police visited their house.
“They wanted to take me so that I could continue that lie. My child was killed; they ignored that fact and came after me! Why nobody ever knocks my door for my child’s murder case?” Artur asks.
Prosecutor General Arthur Davtyan had met with the soldier’s father. The father thought that the prosecutor would talk about the slow investigation of the death of his son, but from the very beginning of the meeting the case of giving bribe was mentioned again.
“I got very upset, I said, actually, you are ignoring the murder and bring bribe against me?” The prosecutor said, we can’t reach compromise with you, you are stabbing everyone. I was even more aggravated, I said, “Where are the people I killed? Show me them. And look how many you have killed: I can show too many,” I said and left.”
In 2018, the criminal case was transferred to the National Security Service. Mkhitaryan hoped that at least “a proper investigation will be conducted there and the false accusation would be removed:”
“The second I entered the investigator’s office he instantly opened the topic of giving bribes. I couldn’t stand it anymore, I said, are you doing this so that I can be humiliated and depressed? I will not be humiliated: you will. I am not going to take this fake case on myself,” said the father of the killed soldier.
In response to Forrights’ inquiry, the RA Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed that the author of the statement had been repeatedly invited to testify in connection with his statement on bribery, but he abruptly refused.
“A criminal case has been initiated on the mentioned statements, on the grounds of receiving and giving particularly large amounts of bribes. The preliminary investigation of the criminal case continues, two people are involved as suspects, one of whom, according to Article 178, Part 2, Clause 1.1 of the RA Criminal Code, for fraud, abusing his official position, and Clause 5, for receiving a bribe, Article 38-375, Part 1, and the other–Article 375, Part 1, abuse of power or official position by the commander. Determined by the results of the preliminary investigation, appropriate final legal assessments will be given to everyone’s actions,” said Gor Abrahamyan, Advisor to the Prosecutor.
It should be noted that the investigation of this criminal case has been going on for 4 years. Arthur Mkhitaryan considers such “persecution” for bribery as blackmail and announces that he will fight to the end:
“Reveal the murder of my child; do not intimidate me to keep me silent.”