YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday strongly condemned the murder of a deputy chief of the Armenian police and said it may have had to do with the latter’s anti-corruption activities.
Colonel Gevorg Mherian was shot dead just outside his apartment in Yerevan late on Tuesday. Nobody has been arrested in connection with the killing yet.
Speaking at an emergency meeting with Armenia’s top security officials, Sarkisian demanded detailed information about the course of the criminal investigation into what he called a crime directed against the country’s “entire law-enforcement system.”
“Gevorg Mherian’s activities in recent months were focused on the struggle to eliminate corruption mechanisms, and we must realize this as well,” he said, according to the presidential press service. “We must realize and give an adequate answer. Our actions must stem from this fact too.”
Before his appointment as deputy chief of the national police last July Mherian, 33, had served as an adviser to Sarkisian and former President Robert Kocharian. He was in charge of monitoring anti-corruption measures taken by various government bodies.
Mherian’s murder is investigated by a joint team of officers from the police, the National Security Service and the Special Investigative Service (SIS). Hector Sardarian, a senior SIS official leading the probe, told RFE/RL on Wednesday that the investigators believe Mherian was most probably gunned down because of his “professional activities.” He did not elaborate.