Investigators in Armenia have reopened a criminal probe in an alleged attempted murder case in which former President Serzh Sarkisian’s nephew is a suspect, citing the emergence of new evidence.
The Investigative Committee on July 5 said Hayk Sarkisian is suspected of attempted murder in a case that was closed more than a decade ago.
The committee said Yerevan resident Davit Simonian suffered a gunshot wound in an incident that took place on April 1, 2007.
A citizen identified as A. Ghevondian told police at the time he had wounded Simonian when he mishandled a gun he had allegedly found in the street.
The committee said an investigation was held at the time but that the case was eventually closed after the parties reached reconciliation “on the grounds of the absence of a complaint.”
However, the committee said, “Due to new circumstances that have emerged, on July 3, 2018, the prosecutor-general of the republic of Armenia made a decision to resume the 2007 criminal proceedings.”
It added that through further investigation, “sufficient evidence was obtained to show that Simonian was wounded not as a result of Ghevondian’s mishandling a weapon, but as a result of a shot deliberately fired by another person.”
It alleged that “Yerevan resident Hayk Sarkisian, born in 1984, shot with the intention to kill the person.”
Hayk Sarkisian was detained by authorities late on July 4 following a search of his family’s Yerevan apartment, and National Security Service (NSS) officers were seen carrying out bags of undisclosed items from the residence.
Hayk Sarkisian’s 62-year-old father, Aleksandr Sarkisian, was also detained by the authorities but was released later that night, according to a statement by the NSS, which said he was being questioned on a separate matter.
No comment was immediately available from either man.
Aleksandr Sarkisian, who is better known to the public as “Sashik,” is the brother of the former president.
Serzh Sarkisian, who had been president for 10 years, moved to the newly powerful post of prime minister in mid-April but stepped down after weeks of peaceful street protests led by then-opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian.
Pashinian, who vowed to crack down on widespread corruption in the country, was voted in as prime minister of the South Caucasus country on May 8.
The State Revenue Committee in late June launched a probe against another brother of the former president, Levon Sarkisian, and his two children on corruption charges after law enforcement authorities discovered nearly $7 million held by them in an Armenian bank.