Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Gumri Case

Armenian News Magazine reports here on the current state of affairs in the case of a Russian soldier charged with the murder of six Armenian civilians in Gumri. A 10-member joint investigative committee has been established, with five from each country. The Russian authorities are holding the accused on the Russian Army based in Armenia, and apparently plan to try him there under Russian law. The Armenian parliament is to hold a hearing on the situation. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has complained that it is "disgusting and unacceptable" that foreign interests would seek to capitalize on the situation in order to obtain some geopolitical advantage.

Jockeying for position between host and sending States is hardly unprecedented, as repeatedly fraught U.S. relations with Japan over events on Okinawa have shown. Still, for the sending State to wind up with jurisdiction where the charges involve the death of six host State nationals is startling, and it would not be surprising if local opinion found it unacceptable.

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