By Anush Mkrtchian
YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Armenian law-enforcement authorities on Friday, August 27, made their first arrests in a criminal investigation into the August 14 explosion at a market in Yerevan that left at least 16 people dead and dozens of others injured.
The Investigative Committee said the suspects include the deputy director of the Surmalu market and three other individuals who used one of its warehouses. The committee did not name any of them.
A spokesman for the law-enforcement agency, Vartan Tadevosyan, said the deputy director and another suspect, who rented the warehouse loaded with fireworks, were charged with a serious violation of fire-safety rules. The two other suspects are facing accusations of negligence and involuntary manslaughter, he told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
Prosecutors have already asked a Yerevan court to allow the investigators to hold them in pre-trial detention, added Tadevosyan.
It remained unclear whether the investigators will also bring criminal charges against the market’s owner, Razmik Zakharyan. The latter has not yet been interrogated by them.