Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Election campaign or 'The Sopranos'?

Yet another whacking has occured in Yerevan. A criminal persona Samvel Shahverdian, a.k.a. ‘Mergeliani Samvelik’ (in English it translates to “Li’l Samvel from Mergelian”), has been whacked. The detectives have found ten casings and one bullet from the area. Mr. Shahverdian has reportedly been hit by 8 bullets. Some sources say that he was killed in front of his father who was with him at the time. He died on his way to the hospital in the ambulance.

This would be a regular gangland murder if Mr. Shahverdian was not involved in politics. He reportedly has done some favors for the ruling HHK and Tsarukian’s BHK parties. It remains to be seen whether this murder was politically motivated or was done to settle scores.

In Armenia it is difficult to distinguish these two motives nowadays; the criminal entities are closely involved with the ruling HHK and are used to intimidate the voters and the opposition parties. As a reward they are given a free reign in their economic activities.

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