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Armenian Authorities Reject Allegations Over Handover Request For Russian Massacre Suspect

YEREVAN -- Armenian authorities have rejected allegations that no request had been formally submitted to Moscow for the transfer to Armenian custody of a Russian soldier accused of killing seven members of a single family in Armenia last month.

In a February 19 statement, the Armenian Prosecutor's Office called the recent media allegations "absurd."

On February 3, Armenian Prosecutor-General Gevork Kostanian said he had appealed to his Russian counterpart, Yury Chaika, to transfer Russian Private Valery Permyakov to Armenian custody.

The same day, Russian authorities said Permyakov would be tried at the Russian base in the Armenian city of Gyumri, where he is now being held.

The January 12 massacre of the Armenian family in Gyumri, including a two-year-old girl and six-month-old boy, sparked protests by Armenians demanding Permyakov be prosecuted and tried by Armenia.