The 15 soldiers who died during the fire

Deputy Commander of Military Unit Arrested in Connection with Death of 15 servicemen

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Gor Aghabekyan, the deputy commander of the military unit, was detained for two months in the case of the death of 15 servicemen in the military shelter , the General Prosecutor’s Office reports.

On January 25, the prosecutor’s office informed that a criminal prosecution was initiated against the military officer for official negligence, which caused the death of a person through carelessness.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Aghabekyan, being responsible for the organization of fire protection in the military unit, did not fulfill his duties, did not provide the engineer sniper platoon of the military unit with fire protection means, as a result, carelessly caused the death of people.

He was arrested last week, and a petition was submitted to the court regarding the arrest.

On January 19, as a result of the fire in the shelter of the military unit located in Azat village of Gegharkunik region, 3 more servicemen were taken to the hospital with respiratory tract burns .

The main hypothesis under investigation is that the fire broke out when the captain of the military unit tried to heat the fire of the stove with gasoline. Meanwhile, hours after the incident, the platoon commander insisted that there was no gasoline in the area. The law enforcement officers also interrogated the platoon commander, details are not disclosed.

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The head of the Investigative Committee, Argishti Kyaramyan, announced that “the hypothesis put forward from the beginning is substantiated.” On the day of the fire, it was Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who put forward the hypothesis of lighting the stove with gasoline.

According to Armenpress, a second arrest has also been made.

The General Prosecution said the major, M.S., is facing criminal charges instituted under clause 3 of Article 550 of the Criminal Code (military official negligence which recklessly caused death).

The major was in charge of enforcing fire safety rules in the barracks, namely providing fire extinguishers in all barracks. He failed to fulfill his duties and negligently caused multiple deaths, prosecutors said.

 

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