03/08 Probe: Opposition, victim families unhappy with mid-term report by investigators

03/08 Probe: Opposition, victim families unhappy with mid-term report by investigators


Gagik Jhangiryan

The Armenian opposition and families of the 2008 post-election unrest victims are outraged by the mid-term report on the deadly clashes released by the Special Investigation Service (SIS) that describes its 10 victims as criminal “participants of mass disorders”.

The 132-page document SIS submitted in late December details the March 1-2, 2008 clashes, however fails to reveal anything new in terms of who bears the responsibility for the killings.

“This is a disgrace of a report; by this they have justified our sons’ murder presenting them as criminals; they are defiling our children’s memory,” says outraged and frustrated Sargis Kloyan, the father of 28-year-old Gor Kloyan who was killed in consequence of police using the special tear gas device called Cheryomukha-7.

The preliminary investigation results reported by the SIS in their paper show that at least two of the killed civilians, Gor Kloyan and Zakar Hovhannisyan, were allegedly “engaged in the mass disorder” by another victim, Armen Farmanyan.

Farmanyan himself is presented in the paper as “a person who had enrolled people by the engagement and financing of former MP Hakob Hakobyan and who distributed iron bars and Molotov cocktails to the participants of the mass disorder in charge of whose actions he was”.

It is pointed out also that Kloyan was unemployed and had financial expectations from Farmanyan in return for his actions.

Kloyan’s father, red with anger, says that had given them (the SIS) documents showing that his son was paying to the state 300,000 dram ($790) monthly tax from his business.

“My son had two businesses and went there not to earn some pennies but to express his political views; he was interested in what was going on in his native city. This is simply defilation of a deceased man’s memory, that’s all,” Kloyan told ArmeniaNow, insisting that they never knew Farmanyan.

Farmanyan’s family is outraged with the report presenting Armen Farmanyan as a “criminal organizer of the mass disorder”.

“I will not leave it like this, how can my child adopted from an orphanage be a criminal?! They all will answer for this at the highest courts,” Farmanyan’s father Vachagan Farmanyan, told ArmeniaNow.

The main opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) has responded to the report qualifying it as a “disgrace”, where the “March 1 events are presented upside down and the opposite of what happened.”

“One thing is especially eye-striking – the way the preliminary investigation body is trying to blacken and slander all the victims, except for officer Hamlet Tadevosyan and private Tigran Abgaryan,” says ANC state-legal committee coordinator Gagik Jhangiryan, referring to the two non-civilian victims of the unrest.

“It serves one purpose – to create an impression for international structures and those uninformed of the legal side of the events that the killed were people with negative profiles, criminals who died while committing crimes.”

According to former military prosecutor Jhangiryan, in the descriptions of all the cases, the preliminary investigation body managed to recover the picture of what preceded the actual killing.

“Where the victims were, who was beside them, the direction they were moving in, objects in their hands – bludgeons, beer bottles, cell phones, everything is there, even what was happening after their receiving heavy injuries or being killed – who took them to hospital, the car model, etc. Everything but the very moment of murder,” says Jhangiryan.

“An immaterial force made everyone without exception to look in a different direction, do something else and everybody by some strange coincidence did not see and did not notice the most important fragment of the actual murder – this is the essense of that report,” he says, stressing that based on his experience in the field he absolutely excludes such a possibility. He adds: “All this just proves that it is politically and legally banned to solve these murder cases.”