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Trial Ends For Russian Soldier Charged With Murder Of Armenian Family

  • RFE/RL's Armenian Service

Valery Permyakov appears in court in January.

Valery Permyakov appears in court in January.

GYUMRI, Armenia -- An Armenian court has finished hearings in the high-profile case of a Russian soldier accused of killing an Armenian family of seven.

A court in the northwestern city of Gyumri ruled on August 19 that the verdict of Russian Army Private Valery Permyakov will be announced on August 23.

Permyakov, who previously pleaded guilty, waived his right for a final statement in the courtroom before his verdict's pronouncement.

On August 12, the prosecutor in the process demanded a life sentence for Permyakov.

On January 12, 2015, six members of the Avetisian family were found dead in their house, including a 2-year-old girl. All the victims were shot or stabbed to death.

A 6-month-old boy who was seriously wounded died a week later.

Permyakov was later detained near the Armenian-Turkish border.

The case led to mass protests in Gyumri and Yerevan against Russia's military presence in the country and calls for the trial to be heard by Armenian judges instead of Russian military judges.

In August 2015, a Russian court found Permyakov guilty of desertion and other charges. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was then handed over to Armenia for trial on murder charges.

Russia has a garrison of around 3,000 soldiers in Gyumri, some 120 kilometers northwest of the capital, Yerevan.