The preliminary investigation into the murder of three servicemen that happened on August 19, 2021 at the Kornidzor position, not far from Goris, was completed in July 2022. The case is in the court of general jurisdiction of Syunik region. During the investigation, which lasted about a year and a half, the initial version of the investigators collapsed, the motive for the crime disappeared, but the accused and the accusations are the same.
In fact, a case of murder, which, according to the investigation and the prosecutor’s office, was committed just like that, without any visible reason, enters the court.
To remind, on the night of August 19, 19-year-old Murad Muradyan, Levon Harutyunyan and Gor Sahakyan were killed in the Kornidzor position. All the boys had gunshot wounds.
According to the prosecutor’s office, on August 19, 2021 at around 01:30 am, conscript A, while performing the duties of the shift, entered the accommodation of the combat position, took the AK-74 assault rifle attached to one of his comrades, loaded it and opened fire in the direction of his sleeping comrades. He is accused of murdering two or more persons (Article 104, Part 2, Clause 1 of the old Criminal Code).
The very first version, which was being investigated for quite a long time, was the violent acts of a sexual nature, which were allegedly carried out against A. by his fellow soldier, senior S of the position. Allegedly, the three murdered people inadvertently witnessed them, entering the room.
According to A’s initial testimony, the elder demanded that he kill the three to avoid ridicule, otherwise he would send the video of the sexual acts to his parents. A. was blackmailed and killed his fellow soldiers.
The position’s senior S. was accused of committing sexual violence and inciting murder. Later, the accusation of committing sexual acts was dropped because the preliminary investigation did not obtain evidence, later A denied his preliminary testimony and claimed that nothing like that happened to him, he did not have a problem with anyone, and he wrote false testimony due to the urging of the military police officers.
A.’s lawyer, Garik Galikyan, urged his client A. to give up the false testimony he gave before, saying, “If you didn’t do it, why did you do what you didn’t do? You are taking the article of life imprisonment on yourself.” A. gave a new testimony, but no investigative actions were taken in its direction.
Garik Galikyan still does not know whether he will demand that the military police officers be called to give explanation. In a conversation with Forrights.am, he said: “The course will show; maybe we will take some actions in the court.”
If no sexual acts were committed, then why were the boys killed, how do the investigators explain the motive of the murder? “They are not explaining way, only — with his initial testimony. The case is at the stage of judicial investigation, and I do not want to make any comments at this time.”
Hayarpi Sargsyan, the lawyer representing the interests of the successor of the murdered Murad Muradyan, also does not believe the official version of the investigators. She told the News.am website that there were scratches on Murad Muradyan’s forehead, others also had bodily injuries, rib fractures. How did they get on the victim’s body, is it possible that there was another incident in the position, an argument, a fight that could lead to the murder?
Lawyer Liparit Simonyan does not rule out this hypothesis. He says that there are data in the criminal case that, shortly before the incident, the villagers of Kornidzor came to the position and an argument took place between the servicemen and some persons. “And during one of those visits, there was an argument, and at the end, one of the villagers said, ‘You will show you!’ People were lightly interrogated in that regard, but since A. testified that he committed the murder, the investigators were satisfied with that and did not investigate either the version of sabotage or the villagers. A day before the end of the preliminary investigation, A. changed his testimony, and, instead of continuing the investigation, they closed the case,” says the lawyer. According to him, A. not only rejected his initial testimony, but also said that he saw people running away at the scene. “He didn’t see the faces, but that’s why he thought it was sabotage. When you read the case, you see that anyobe could have entered and exited that positiona,” noted Liparit Simonyan.
The lawyer assures that after changing A.’s testimony, his client’s accusation disappears, because it is no longer clear why it should have motivated A. to commit murder.
Hovhannes Grigoryan, the father of the accused S., says that his son told his father that he, coming from the position next to him, saw that one of the three fallen soldiers, Levon, was wounded. “The military unit’s car was running late, and my son called his friend from the neighboring village who had a car. My son took off his clothes, wrapped Levon’s wounded places, put him in the car and sent him, but that child died on the way to the hospital,” says Hovik Grigoryan. Before his death, Levon managed to ask S.: “What happened, I don’t understand?” and passed out.