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Murdered Family Relatives Want Russian Transfered To Armenian Custody

  • RFE/RL's Armenian Service

GYUMRI, Armenia --

Relatives of a seven-member family killed in a massacre in Gyumri in January are demanding that the Russian soldier charged with the killings be handed over to Armenian authorities.

The relatives of the victims of the killing rampage on January 12 that claimed the lives of the Avetisian family -- including a two-year-old girl and six-month-old boy -- gathered near the provincial prosecutor’s office in Gyumri on February 23, threatening to hold large protests in four days if their demand is not met.

They also want the ongoing investigation to be made transparent.

On January 15, hundreds of protesters demanding the suspect, Private Valery Permyakov, be transferred to Armenian custody, clashed with police in Gyumri.

Armenian Prosecutor-General Gevork Kostanian promised then that he would ask his Russian counterpart, Yury Chaika, to transfer Permyakov to Armenian officials.

On February 3, Russian authorities said Permyakov would be tried at the Russian military base in the Armenian city of Gyumri, where he is being held.