Father of a soldier killed in the armed forces was arrested

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On January 11, 2018 by the decision of the investigative group, police officers arrested Vahe Terteryan, the father of soldier Davit Terteryan killed during his military service.

According to the official hypothesis on the soldier’s death (suicide), on February 18, 2013, at about 1:10 pm, a soldier of the fourth rifle battalion of the NK Defense Army, compulsory military serviceman David Vahe Terteryan shot himself from the rifle attached to him, while on a duty on the observation post, causing a fatal gunshot wound in the forehead. He died immediately.

The aggrieved party is convinced that the investigation of the case has not been conducted objectively and that the purpose of the preliminary investigation body from the very beginning was to conceal the real facts instead of revealing them. “A unilateral, fraudulent, criminal investigation was carried out in the case. Material evidence has been destroyed, facts have been falsified, and all the witnesses have given false and contradicting testimonies on the most important facts. All the evidence obtained – the testimonies and expert conclusions of the case- prove that it was a deliberate murder, even pointing to the murderer”, said Ruben Martirosyan, Peace Dialogue NGO expert and the legal representative of the victim’s successor.

Another evidence is that on April 18, 2017, Deputy Head of the First Garrison S. Baghdasaryan dropped the case on the grounds of absence of the crime.

After the decision was appealed by the victim’s legal successor on June 21, 2017 Military Prosecutor V. Haroutyunyan made a decision to satisfy the aggrieved party’s appeal and eliminated the investigator’s decision to dismiss the case.

The aggrieved party challenged the preliminary investigation body that had dropped the case and mentioned that the latter did not have any right to continue with the case because it had shown its interest in the case. The aggrieved party motioned for the case to be assigned to another investigative body and a criminal case to be initiated against the investigation body and the employees of the prosecutor’s office that had concealed the case.

The aggrieved party substantiated its disagreement with the official version of the preliminary investigation body over the death of the soldier by filing a 29-page complaint which was sent to all the responsible bodies.

No response has been received to the complaints and petitions so far, instead the case was handed to the Central Military Investigation Department of the RA Investigative Committee, the same body that the aggrieved party had challenged.

After the resumption of the case, the investigators have continuously disturbed the aggrieved party for various reasons, first by phone call, and then by sending 4-5 notices from Senior Investigator of Especially Important Cases Lieutenant Colonel A. Sargsyan demanding the killed soldier’s father Vahe Terteryan to appear before the Investigative body and testify as a witness.

  1. Terteryan refused to present and testify in front of the mentioned investigative body because of lack of trust towards them and challenged the investigative body. Terteryan also mentioned that he had already testified in 2016 following the murder of his son and gave exhaustive information about all the facts he knew and that there was no other information about the case that he could know or report about.

The aggrieved party is convinced that all that was merely an attempt to obtrude the Investigative body of the General Military Investigation Department upon him, whereas he does not trust the latter and considers it a corrupt body.

The aggrieved party also considers the abovementioned notices as attempts of blackmail because the deceased soldier’s father is not a witness and cannot present the details of the murder. Moreover, the aggrieved party has filed numerous complaints and petitions to the RA Ombudsman’s Office, the RA President, the National Assembly and the Prosecutor’s Office on attempts of the investigative body to intimidate the aggrieved party.

The investigator first started asking questions related to the case, however I refused to answer any of those questions and added that everything I knew I had already mentioned in my testimony given during the preliminary investigation. Then I had an impression that the investigative body was trying to persuade me to come to an agreement with the preliminary investigation body to continue the investigation, which I also rejected. In response to the investigator’s question about the reasons for my mistrust towards them, I recalled all the illegalities and crimes in the criminal case committed by them that were known to me and I completely refused any cooperation with the investigative body that concealed the murder case of my son.”-said Vahe Terteryan

“Probably, the preliminary investigative body’s reaction is conditioned by the fact that the complaint filed by the aggrieved party contains facts about the disappearance of the phone numbers of all the staff members at the base, one of the many violations detected by us during the preliminary investigation, since Vahe Terteryan was asked questions about this. That is to say, we found out that the phone numbers disappeared from the case, while the decoding of the calls made from them could essentially shed light on the circumstances of the case and then we petitioned for them to be discovered and those who are guilty of this flaw were punished, whereas the investigators found it “expedient” to detain and interrogate the victim’s father in order to discover them.”- comments of R. Martirosyan on the incident. Martirosyan considers the fact of detaining the victim’s successor an unprecedented phenomenon.

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