Armenian police general gets jail sentence for murder cover-up

Armenian police general gets jail sentence for murder cover-up

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Ex-chief of the Police’s Criminal Investigation Department Hovhannes Tamamyan was sentenced to four years in prison

Former chief of the Armenian Police’s Criminal Investigation Department Hovhannes Tamamyan has been sentenced to four years in prison at the end of a high-profile trial in which he was convicted of covering up a murder.

Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash Court on Friday also ruled that the major-general of the police must be kept away from senior posts in state and local government bodies for a period of two years.

Tamamyan was arrested a year ago today, which is considered to be the commencement of his four-year sentence.

Two police officers who were immediate subordinates to Tamamyan - Armen Poghosyan, a former deputy chief of investigation operations at the police department in Yerevan’s Arabkir district, and Vahan Khanzadyan, a former senior police investigator for especially important cases – got 2.5-year suspended jail sentences each. Unlike Tamamyan, both were released from the courtroom.

The former police employees were charged with abuse of official powers that entailed grave consequences, in particular, they concealed the circumstances of an attempted murder, knowing the identities of those who committed the crime and hid them from justice. During one of the previous hearings the three admitted their guilt and asked the court for a speedy trial.

Tamamyan’s defense attorney Vaghinak Gevorgyan, who in his defense speech said that no social justice would be restored if his client were given a lengthy jail term and asked the court to give him a suspended sentence instead, said he was dissatisfied with the eventual sentence.

Talking to media later on, Gevorgyan called the sentence unfair, considering that his client also deserved to be released from the courtroom as he had the same mitigating circumstances that the court had assumed as a basis for passing suspended sentences on his subordinates.

It is not yet clear whether Tamamyan will appeal the court sentence.