UPDATE: investigation uncovers reason for suicide of ex head of Armenian National Security Council of Armenia
Former head of the National Security Service, Georgy Kutoyan, committed suicide for personal reasons, stated Chairman of the Investigative Committee Hayk Grigoryan․
Grigoryan did not provide other details of the case:
“The wife of Georgy Kutoyan, Asmik Bisharyan, requested the investigating authority not divulge any information about the motive of the suicide without her consent. Given the statement of Hasmik Bisharyan, I can say that the suicide was committed for personal reasons. Do not [ask me to divulge more, given the statement of the successor of the victim.”
He also said that the investigation is no longer considering that Kutoyan could have been murdered. In the first days after the death of Kutoyan, no traces of violence on the body were found. 10 forensic examinations were conducted, more than 90 witnesses were interviewed, and incoming and outgoing calls were listened to.
The former head of the Armenian National Security Service Georgi Kutoyan was found shot to death in Yerevan on January 17.
Three days later, the investigation into his death has presented the details behind his death, revealing that there were no signs of violence on his body and that the likely cause of death was suicide.
What do we know for now?
Georgi Kutoyan was living at his father’s house, and not at his registered address. He would only occasionally come to the apartment where he was found dead. The day before his death, January 16, Kutoyan left his father’s house by taxi to his apartment, telling his wife that he needed to rest there for a few days.
On January 17, unable to reach him by phone, his family went to this apartment where they found Kutoyan’s body on the couch.
Kutoyan had a gunshot to his temple, and a Glock pistol, registered to him, was found next to his body.
40 shells and 10 bullets were found in the room as well, initially suggesting the case was one of homicide.
However, it was soon reported that at the end of December 2019, Kutoyan had shot a number of times into the wall while drinking – they were not related to his death.
Who was Giorgi Kutoyan?
Georgi Kutoyan was close to the former President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.
In 2011, he was appointed assistant to the president. After five years, Kutoyan became head of the National Security Service. He worked in this post until the “velvet revolution” in the spring of 2018 and the change of power.
It is known that after the service Kutoyan went to the UK, where he studied for a master’s degree at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge.
Georgy Kutoyan headed the National Security Service for two years and, of course, possessed a large amount of information.
This is the third untimely death of former senior officials of the security forces of Armenia in recent months.
In September 2019, the former head of the Armenian police Hayk Harutyunyan was found dead.
He was a witness in the March 1 case, concerning the dispersal of an opposition demonstration in 2008 which killed 10. Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, who has been in prison for over a year now, is being tried on this case. Harutyunyan held the post of chief of police from 2003 to 2008, that is, during the rallies of 2008.
Many in Armenia believe that the death of the former police chief may be related to his professional activities and the Мarch 1 case.
Two months later, the former police chief of Yerevan, Ashot Karapetyan, died in Russia as a result of a gas explosion in a private brewery in Pyatigorsk.
He worked in the Armenian police since 1993, had the rank of major general, and headed the police of the capital from 2013 to 2016.
Former Armenian intelligence officer Vladimir Poghosyan believes that such a chain of deaths is not an accident.
“I think you need to dig deeper here. In the staff of Serzh Sargsyan, Kutoyan was engaged in ‘supervising’ the judicial system. He knew too much. I also do not exclude that the death could be related to the loss of archival documents from Baghramyan 26 [address of the presidential residence in Yerevan – JAMnews]. Probably you remember that there was information about the loss of archival documents from the residence of the president.”
The fact that some secret documents were stolen and destroyed from the National Security Service of Armenia in May 2019 was announced by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.
Later, in August, while still the head of the National Security Service, Arthur Vanetsyan said that the documents related to the March 1 case, most of them had already been rediscovered.
“Let’s not go into details, but I’ll just say that yes, there were very interesting documents,” said Arthur Vanetsyan.