By Naira Bulghadarian
YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Armenia’s Court of Appeals has ordered a fresh investigation into the death of a pregnant woman who was hit last April by a police car escorting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s motorcade.
The police SUV struck the 28-year-old Sona Mnatsakanyan as she crossed a street in the center of Yerevan. It did not stop after the collision.
The vehicle’s driver, police Major Aram Navasardyan, was arrested twice and released before going on trial in November. He pleaded not guilty to the charges of reckless driving and negligence leveled against him.
Mnatsakanyan’s close relatives have been very critical of the pre-trial criminal investigation into her death, alleging a cover-up. They pointed to the investigators’ failure to prosecute any members of Pashinyan’s security detail and accused them of withholding key evidence relevant to the high-profile case.
That includes audio of radio conversations among security personnel that escorted Pashinyan on that day. The Armenian police reportedly told the investigators that they were not recorded due to a technical malfunction. The latter did not bother to check the veracity of the police claim, according to Raffi Aslanyan, a lawyer representing the victim’s family.