YEREVAN — Former head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) Georgi Kutoyan. who was found shot dead on Friday, most probably committed suicide, Prosecutor-General Artur Davtyan said over the weekend.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Davtyan said the investigators have collected enough evidence testifying that Kutoyan committed a suicide.
“In order to avoid unnecessary speculation, I reaffirm that enough evidence has been received indicating suicide, but all versions will be investigated at the proper level,” Davtyan said as he attended a requiem service for Kutoyan held on Saturday. He cautioned, though, that they are continuing to consider other theories of the 38-year-old’s shock death, including murder.
Kutoyan’s body was discovered at a Yerevan apartment belonging to his family. According to the Investigative Committee, he had a gunshot wound to his head.
A spokeswoman for the law-enforcement agency, Naira Harutiunyan, said on Monday that investigators have found no “traces of violence” on the body. She also told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that they are awaiting the results of several forensic tests that could shed more light on Kutoyan’s death.
A deputy head of the Investigative Committee, Artur Melikyan, said on Friday that his officers found dozens of bullets and spent cartridge cases in the apartment.
In a written statement released on Saturday, the Investigative Committee said it has established that Kutoyan fired 35 gunshots at an apartment wall after “consuming alcohol” there in late December. He was killed by a bullet fired from the same pistol legally owned by him, said the statement.
Kutoyan and his family did not live in the apartment in question. According to the Investigative Committee, the former NSS chief went there the day before his death after telling his loved ones that he wants to “rest there for two or three days.” The committee statement also said that Kutoyan, who reportedly studied in Britain, “returned” to Armenia on December 9.
Investigators conducted a string of interrogations, including the taxi driver who drove him to the apartment. A number of examinations have been appointed to clarify some significant circumstances.
A lawyer by education, Kutoyan had worked as an assistant to President Serzh Sarkisian from 2011 until his surprise appointment as director of Armenia’s most powerful security agency in February 2016. He was sacked by newly elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in May 2018 immediately after the “Velvet Revolution” that toppled Sarkisian.