YEREVAN — Citing the emergence of new evidence, investigators in Armenia have reopened a criminal case in which former President Serzh Sarkisian’s nephew, Hayk Sarkisian, is a suspect.

According to a statement released by the Investigative Committee on Thursday, Hayk Sarkisian is suspected of attempted murder in a case that was closed more than a decade ago.

The Investigative Committee said Yerevan resident Davit Simonian suffered a gunshot wound in an incident that took place on April 1, 2007. The same day a citizen identified as A. Ghevondian told police at the time that he wounded Simonian as a result of mishandling a gun that he allegedly found in the street. Ghevondian also brought with him the gun in question, the report added. The Investigative Committee said proper proceedings were launched then but the case was eventually closed after the parties reached reconciliation “on the grounds of the absence of a complaint.”

“Due to new circumstances that have emerged, on July 3, 2018, the prosecutor-general of the Republic of Armenia made a decision to resume the 2007 criminal proceedings and forward the case to the Investigative Committee’s unit operating in Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts. The same day, an investigator took up the case and launched other necessary investigative and procedural actions to clarify the circumstances of the case,” the Investigative Committee said.

“As a result, sufficient evidence was obtained to show that Simonian was wounded not as a result of Ghevondian’s mishandling a weapon, but as a result of a shot deliberately fired by another person. According to the data of the investigation, Yerevan resident Hayk Sarkisian, born in 1984, shot with the intention to kill the person.”

According to the law-enforcement body, investigators carried out the necessary actions with the participation of Hayk Sarkisian, including his interrogation, and on July 4 Sarkisian was granted a procedural status – he is suspected of committing a crime envisaged by part 1 of Article 34-104 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (attempted murder). “The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the Investigative Committee said.

Hayk Sarkisian was arrested late on Wednesday following nearly nine hours of a search conducted at his father Aleksandr Sarkisian’s Yerevan apartment. Aleksandr Sarkisian was also briefly detained for questioning as part of a separate investigation concerning his other son, Narek.

Later in the day the investigative agency issued and arrest warrant for Hayk’s brother Narek Sarkisian for possession of guns, drugs and illegally obtained paintings.

The Armenian National Security Service released footage of search at Narek Sarkisian’s house.

The Secutity Service says Narek Sarkisian, 31, left for Moscow on June 22 with an intention to leave for some European country. Before leaving the country Sarkisian handed the keys from his house on Aram Street to his close friend Serob Sahakian and asked the latter to move two suitcases from the house. Sahakian and his accomplice Vladimir Shahinian were detained on June 25 when leaving the house.

The Security Service says the suitcases contained cocaine and methamphetamine drugs, four guns, bullets, unknown tablets glass and plastic pipes with black and white traces, other items, most served for drug use. The revealed weapons were sent for expertise to reveal whether they were used in other crimes.

Furthermore, the NSS said back in 2013 Narek Sarkisian took 14 of Martiros Saryan’s drawings worth $280 thousand from a relative of the painter, promising to pay $28 thousand, establish a casino with the remaining funds and sponsor its activity. Sargsyan failed to fulfill his promise and refused to return the paintings.

Under a criminal case initiated according to Paragraph 1 of Article 178.3 of the Armenian Criminal Code, on July 4, a search was carried out at the place of Narek Sarkisian’s registration. The NSS found the seized drawings, as well as $115 thousand and 27 thousand euros, expensive watches, a number of gold coins and jewelry.

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