Moscow insists renegade Gyumri soldier be tried in Russia.
22 January 2015

Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, who is accused of killing seven members of an Armenian family in the city of Gyumri after he absconded from the Russian military base there "will go on trial in Russia because he is a Russian citizen", Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. The Russian News Agency Itar-Tass quoted Peskov as saying that "Since he is a citizen of Russia he is naturally subjected to laws of the Russian Federation and it will be a Russian trial," Peskov made the statement in an interview with local Gyumri television channel Gala TV. "The trial will be in Russia and in this case the Russian legislature has no mercy to such monstrous crimes."

Itar Tass quoted President Vladimir Putin's spokesman as saying that Alexander Bastrykin, the chief of the Russian Investigative Committee, is currently in Gyumri working on the case.

"As instructed by the president he [Bastrykin] jointly works with Armenian investigators... and they jointly conduct the investigation," Peskov said.

"It was indeed a monstrous, absolutely monstrous tragedy, which is the tragedy both for the Armenian and Russian people," Peskov said adding that "Russians are also mourning and sympathizing" with Armenians.

Peskov's words contradict earlier statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who told his annual news conference earlier on Wednesday that the trial into the massacre of the Avetisyan family would be held on the territory of Armenia in collaboration with Russia and would be open and transparent. "I am confident that the court will bring down an unbiased and adequate verdict - adequate to this appalling crime," Lavrov said.

The case has raised many emotions in Armenia although the Russian Foreign Minister in his statement blamed namelss outside forces of "politicising" the case.

source: with Itar-Tass and other agencies.

picture: The Russian Military base in Gyumri is at the centre of attention after one of its soldiers absconded last week and is now being accused of killin seven members of an Armenian family in their homw (archive pixture)