Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   12 December

“Don Pipo” remanded for 2 months

YEREVAN, JUNE 19, ARMENPRESS. Court of General Jurisdiction of the City of Yerevan made a ruling to remand Artur Asatryan, aka Don Pipo, for 2 months. He was arrested by National Security Service agents on June 16.

In a statement, the NSS said that a criminal case was launched back in 2017 on the alleged murder plot against Asatryan.

Arthur Asatryan, aka Don Pipo, is an Ejmiatsin native who has been residing in Italy. According to some media reports, Asatryan is allegedly tied to organized crime.

NSS said that three of the four suspected plotters of the murder have said that they had been kidnapped and taken hostage for three days last year, where they’ve been subjected to violence and demanded to name who is behind ordering the murder.

A new criminal case was launched later in 2017 on the kidnapping of the three suspects. NSS said it has found a mobile phone video showing the kidnappers threatening and interrogating the three men. The video also shows that the interrogation was carried out by an individual calling himself Pipo, NSS said.

Furthermore, the kidnapped men have refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

The investigation nevertheless continued, and as result of searching the mansion of Arthur Asatryan in Ejmiatsin on June 16, a big amount of weapons and ammunition was discovered, NSS said. The weapons included AK-74 assault rifles, five handguns and a revolver.

Asatryan was detained and later arrested in suspicion of kidnapping and illegal acquisition and possession of firearms.

Within the framework of the same criminal case, four Russian citizens have also been arrested. The four suspects are most likely the bodyguards of Asatryan who are involved in the illegal possession of the firearms, NSS said.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

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