Former chief of police sentenced to 8 years in prison

16:31 - 29.11.10

The General Jurisdiction Court of Kotayk marz (province) has sentenced
Ashot Harutyunyan, former Head of Charenstavan town's Police
Department, to 8 years in prison.

Harutyunyan was accused of pushing Vahan Khalafyan to suicide.

On April 13, 2010, Khalafyan was taken to Chrenstavan police
department on suspicion of robbery.

Official sources say he committed suicide on the same day after being
tortured by the police. However, Khalafyan's relatives and human
rights defenders insist on his being murdered by police officers.

Four policemen were accused of torturing Khalafyan, but only one of
them - Ashot Harutyunyan - has been detained. Member of police task
force Moris Hayrapeyan was sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment, the
other two culprits have been acquitted.

It came after Harutyunyan's recent speech in court, in which the
former chief of police accused Hayrapetyan of committing the murder.
Khalafyan's legal successor - Artak Zeynalyan - finds the verdict unfair.

"We have always insisted on Vahan's being murdered," he told,
not ruling out the possibility of the case being appealed.

From: A. Papazian