A memorial ceremony at the monument perpetuating the memory of October 27, 1999 crime victims in the Park of the National Assembly. Photo from www.parliament.am

27 October 2011, 23:10

Armenian MPs commemorate victims of 1999 terror act committed at National Assembly

Today, Armenia holds mourning events in memory of the victims of the terror act committed in 1999 in the Parliament, when eight government and political figures were shot dead by five terrorists who broke into the session hall of the National Assembly.

The today's session of the Armenian Government began with a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims of the terror act.

Let us remind you that on October 27, 1999, when the National Assembly was holding the so-called "Government Hour", a group of terrorists broke into the hall and opened fire from their submachine guns killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisyan, Speaker Karen Demirchyan, Vice-Speakers Ruben Miroyan and Yuri Bakhshyan, Minister of Operational Matters Leonard Petrosyan, and three MPs: Mikael Kotanyan, Armenak Armenakyan and Genrikh Abramyan.

The incumbent Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisyan said today, when opening the government sitting, that the day 12 years ago was one of the greatest tragedies in the modern Armenian history, the "News-Armenia" reports.

"That dastardly crime took lives of the people adherent to establishing our statehood," he said.

In the context of the twelfth anniversary of the terror act, mourning events will take place in the Yerablur Pantheon and in the yard of the Armenian Parliament - at the monument to the victims of the terror act.

"Twelve years have passed; however, some questions still remain unanswered. In particular, who organized the attack; how the terrorists managed to bring submachine guns into the session hall; why no one stopped them; who killed Armen Armenakyan, who at that moment was in the corridor outside the hall; and how many armed people there were outside the hall and in the corridors. The court failed to give clear answers to these questions. I'll never believe that the bandits, being guided by their own ambitions or by something else only, decided to go and commit the crime in the National Assembly," said Anait Bakhshyan, the widow of the First Vice-Speaker Yuri Bakhshyan.

"The October 27 crime will be solved only when the people elect new authorities," believes Armen Martirosyan, a member of the Board of the "Heritage" Party.

According to his story, many persons, but not the Armenian people, were interested in the terror act committed on October 27, 1999.

"If the terror act had not been committed, we would have a completely different country today; in fact, we have no country at all," the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Gurgen Yegiazaryan, a Board Member of the Social-Democratic Party "Gnchak".

The trial of the terrorists began in 2001. On December 2, 2003, the First Instance Court of the Yerevan communities Kentron and Nork-Marash sentenced the members of the criminal grouping, who murdered eight government and political figures, to life imprisonment. The verdict was passed to six terrorists: Nairi Unanyan, the leader of the grouping, his brother Karen Unanyan, their uncle Vram Galstyan, Derenik Bedjanyan, Edik Grigoryan and Ashot Knyazyan. Gamlet Stepanyan was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. All the seven terrorists were found guilty of treason, terrorism, and commitment of especially dangerous crimes against the state.

Let us note here that in 2000, in the course of the preliminary investigation of the "October 27" case, the defendant Norair Egiazaryan died from electric shock at the correction facility "Nubarashen". According to the investigation, he supplied firearms to Unanyan and his grouping.

On April 16, 2004, Vram Galstyan, uncle of Nairi and Karen Unanyan, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, was found in his cell hanged - he committed suicide.

The "Caucasian Knot" has also reported that on May 15, 2010, Gamlet Stepanyan suddenly died in prison. According to the forensic medical examination, conducted within the criminal case opened on the fact of his death, it was caused by a heart attack. Gamlet Stepanyan's former advocate said that he did not believe in the objectivity of the forensic medical examination.

Author: Lilit Ovanisyan; Source: CK correspondent

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