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Slow Progress in Proshyan Murder Investigation

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  • Slow Progress in Proshyan Murder Investigation

    Slow Progress in Proshyan Murder Investigation
    By Samson Martirosyan //
    September 7, 2013

    YEREVAN (A.W.) - Five months have passed since Karabagh war veteran, ARF
    member and mayor of Proshyan Hrach Muradyan, 50, was gunned down near
    the municipality building, and the investigation appears to be moving
    at a sluggish pace. Two brothers, Arayik and Artak Petrosyan, remain
    under arrest, while the victim's family has resorted to protesting in
    front of police headquarters demanding answers.

    Arayik, 31, faced charges and criminal proceedings under Articles 104,
    2.2 (murder of the person or close relative of the latter, due to
    service and public duty of the person) and 235, 1 (illegal
    procurement, transportation, keeping or carrying of weapons,
    explosives or explosive devices, except smoothbore long-barrel hunting
    guns, ammunition) of Armenia's criminal code. Even though Arayik's
    arrest term was to expire in August, he remains in police custody.
    Despite the lack of evidence, the court once again extended his arrest
    by another two months.

    Law enforcement officials claimed that there was an `urgent' need to
    reexamine the main piece of evidence - the traces of metallic antimony
    (a metalloid used in the production of bullets) found on Arayik's body
    and car. Reexamination of the traces of antimony may bring some
    clarification to the investigation, but under no circumstances can it
    be a solid basis for prolonging his arrest term. Even if reexamination
    proves that traces of antimony were the result of a gunshot, law
    enforcement officials still won't be able to prove that antimony
    traces were the result of the exact gunshot that killed Mayor

    Moreover, there seems to be no significant steps forward in the
    investigation, despite previous announcements by police that they
    would accelerate the investigation. So far, dozens of people have been
    interrogated, but no breakthrough has been registered in the case.
    What has been clarified, however, is that Arayik's Lada Niva car bears
    a number plate beginning with two numbers, whereas authorities now say
    that the Niva car spotted around the time of murder began with three
    numbers. Investigators have ruled out that the plate could have been

    Arayik's brother, Artak, 33, who was also detained, then released and
    then detained again, is still in custody. He faces charges of
    hooliganism, for allegedly partaking in a skirmish in Sept. 2012,
    following Muradyan's election victory.

    Muradyan's relatives held a demonstration near the main police
    headquarter in Yerevan on Sept. 2, demanding that those responsible
    for the Mayor's murder be held accountable.

    The Armenian Weekly will continue following this case closely.