The preliminary investigation in the case of 15 servicemen who died in the shelter of the engineers’ group located in Azat village of Gegharkunik region has been completed; the case has been sent to the court.

Before this, on August 30, the parents of the fallen servicemen with an authorized representative met the investigator, demanding to be given a reasonable period of time to familiarize themselves with the materials of the 22 volumes of the case and submit relevant petitions, which was rejected by the investigator. On the same day, a petition was submitted to the supervising prosecutor, demanding that the investigator be removed from participating in the given proceedings for committing a gross violation of the law.

Attorney Norayr Norikyan, authorized representative of the victims, considers this way of working of investigative bodies incomprehensible and illogical, stressing that the law enforcement bodies have gone to impermissible haste in this matter.

“Allowing only 3 days to get acquainted with the materials of the criminal proceedings of the above-mentioned volume, not considering and leaving many petitions of the party suffering from gross violations of criminal procedure norms without any consequences, not familiarizing them with the conclusions of the appointed complex examinations, not providing a reasonable time to present a relevant position on them, proves that, in this criminal proceedings, both the investigative body and the prosecutor’s office showed unjustified haste and incomprehensible interest in sending the case to court as soon as possible, grossly violating the requirements of RA legislation, as well as the rights of the victims,” lawyer Norayr Norikyan told

Norikyan emphasizes that all this proves that everything possible was done not to reveal the crime until the end, not to reveal the whole range of guilty persons, to crystallize the official version and to serve it the public.

The father of one of the victims, Hayk Kirakosyan, also describes this kind of investigation as absurd, claiming that this case was originally conducted in violation of the law and “except for pressing on the official version, they did nothing.”

“I don’t know anymore what to call this government, what to say to them: even the last words are not enough. They took the case in the direction of the stupid statement made from the first day, and now both the parents’ rights and opinions are being violated, the case is being brought to the court with the excuse that some part of the case is being cut to enter the court,” Gabriel Kirakosyan told

Kirakosyan is sure that if they allow the case to enter the court in that way, then, according to him, the case will not differ from either the cases of October 27 [when terrirists entered the Parliament and killed 10 people including the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Parliament] or March 1 [when the army and police units attacked peaceful demostrators and killed a dozen of people]. He also fears that they may fight for tens of years, but not achieve results.

“They didn’t do anything except put forward the official version. In the true sense of the word, the investigator ignores everything. They did everything for the official version to go to court, so that they can blame on a couple of weak links, close it for a few years, and the case will be over. They are not interested in the parent’s opinion, condition, feelings at all,” mentions Kirakosyan.

“We beforehand have said that we do not rule out the possibility of submitting a petition to conduct a second forensic medical examination, while waiting for the conclusion of the appointed “Fire-technical, explosive-technical and construction-technical” complex examination. But it is obvious that the victims were illegally deprived of exercising their rights in the pre-trial proceedings,” says the authorized representative of the victims.

The parents didn’t believe the official version from the beginning and wonder which rational person would believe such a version: in their opinion this is an obvious lie, Kirakosyan emphasizes.

“There has been no meeting during this whole time. We requested a meeting with the Prime Minister, but nothing was given to us, the Minister of Defense did not appear in any way at all, one could think that he was, let’s say, the Minister of Health. An unprecedented tragedy happened in the army, and he didn’t even bother to pronounce a word,” says Hayk’s father.

Kirakosyan says that the investigator gave them three days to get acquainted with the 22-volume case, because he wanted to send the case to the court as soon as he could. Kirakosyan considers it simply impossible to get acquainted with the case of such volume in three days. In addition to this, he emphasizes that a normal interrogation was not carried out, that there are parents who were never questioned, there are people who they do not want to question, and they totally reject those who express a desire to testify, and all this is done for the purpose that “the course of the case does not deviate and goes according to the official version”.

The aggrieved party is not going to put up with blatant violations of their rights.

“We responsibly declare that in this case, any attempt of cover-up, any attempt to falsify factual data, any obstacle to the disclosure of this case, any step against revealing the truth will not be tolerated. We will do our best to find out all the real circumstances of this case to reveal,” says Norayr Norikyan.

Let’s remind that in this case charges were brought against the engineering service officer of the military unit, Captain Yeghishe Hakobyan and two military officials.

Kristine Aghabekyan

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