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Former Armenian Police Chief Found Dead From Gunshot Wound At Home

Hayk Harutiunian
Hayk Harutiunian

YEREVAN -- Former Armenian police chief Hayk Harutiunian has been found dead in his house in Yerevan with a gunshot wound to his head.

Police officials told RFE/RL on September 24 that Harutiunian's body was found in his house late the night before and that a preliminary investigation suggested suicide.

Harutiunian served as police chief from 2003 to 2008 and headed Armenia's penitentiary service from 2010 to 2014.

He was a witness in the case against former President Robert Kocharian.

The charges against Kocharian and three other former senior officials relate to a March 2008 decision to call in troops following clashes that left at least 10 people, including law enforcement officers, dead in the worst civil violence in that country's post-Soviet history.

Since being arrested in July 2018, Kocharian has twice been released from pretrial detention by court decisions, but in both cases he was rearrested after prosecutor appeals.