On July 24, 2019, at around 4:20 am the body of Volodya Galoyan, a 19-year-old soldier, was found in a neutral zone near one of the positions of the Hadrut military unit of the Artsakh Republic, about 50 meters away from the observation post. The young man received a gunshot wound in the lower jaw. The rifle was found next to him.
An investigation was immediately launched under Article 110 of the Criminal Code, “Incitement to Suicide.” Later, the examination revealed that there were two tubes of entrances of bullets, that is, Galoyan was killed by at least two shots, a fact that spontaneously refuted the version of suicide. Twenty-two injuries were found on the soldier’s body, evidencing that he was tortured before he died. However, ignoring these facts, investigators still present the soldier’s death as a suicide.
We have written about the circumstances of the case many times. According to the preliminary version, Galoyan took his mobile phone to the checkpoint, which is forbidden. That is why he had an argument with the senior of the position, junior sergeant Roland Stepanyan, after which he fired at him from the AK-74 rifle attached to him. But Stepanyan entered the basement and avoided the shot. Realizing the consequences of his action, Galoyan left to the neutral zone and committed suicide.
Human rights activist, criminologist Ruben Martirosyan, studying the expert conclusions, revealed the falsity of the official version. According to him, Volodya died not in the neutral zone, but in a completely different place.
Galoyan’s body was wrapped in a tent-cloak, his body armor was thrown just beyond the body. No bullet capsules were found at the scene, which is unlikely if the soldier had committed suicide there. To date, investigators have not clarified who put Galoyan’s body in the tent-cloak and the weapon next to him, why there was no pool of blood around the body, which should have occurred in the event of several gunshot wounds to the head.
“This means that Galoyan was killed, and was killed somewhere else” concluded human rights activist Ruben Martirosyan, who is investigating the circumstances of the boy’s death.
According to him, Galoyan was beaten, tortured, killed, then the body was taken to the neutral zone in a tent-cloak, and it was announced that Galoyan had committed suicide. The murdered young man was then charged with two counts of committing violent acts against his boss and attempted murder.
The lawyer representing Volodya’s family Khanum Mkrtchyan says.
“Volodya Galoyan was shot several times in the head. It speaks about the fact that Volodya Galoyan, even if he had a great desire, simply could not cause such injuries to himself, as his hand could reach the muzzle of the weapon, but not the trigger. Besides, he had multiple injuries that were about 3-5 days old, and some injuries that he received a day or even hours before his death. The fact that, minutes before his death, he talked to his cousin on the phone is very important. He told his cousin that he had a problem with the senior of the position, that he needed help, and all this only confirm the version of murder, excluding the false version of suicide.”
He made numerous motions to the preliminary investigation body, demanding to find the missing 11 capsules, to send Volodya Galoyan’s military uniform, cloths, socks to forensic examination, to find mechanical injuries on them, to find other traces, to interrogate Galoyan’s family members, etc.
The motions were either not satisfied or were met with long delays. The answers are not given to the aggrieved party. For example, the request to appoint a complex forensic examination of the clothes was rejected on the grounds that such an examination had already taken place. “However, the aggrieved party has not yet received the conclusion of the mentioned examination; it is not familiar with its content,” says Khanum Mkrtchyan.
She also submitted a separate petition to receive the above-mentioned conclusion. A month has passed, she still has no answer.
Recently, the lawyer received the conclusion of a complex forensic psychiatric, forensic psychological post-mortem examination, in which she noticed significant contradictions. The psychiatrist concluded that Galoyan was conscious and ‘adequate’, and the psychologist noted that during the entire examination there was no information that Galoyan had expressed any thoughts about suicide.
“On the second point,” says Khanum Mkrtchyan, “the expert notes that Galoyan did not judge adequately, which contradicts the psychiatrist’s conclusion that he was adequate and could be held accountable for his actions.” Khanum Mkrtchyan hopes to figure out the reason of this contradiction once again by sending a motion to the investigative body.