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Armenian Bandits Get Death Sentence

October 10, 2002

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YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) _ A court in Armenia sentenced two men to death for leading an armed band that authorities say terrorized the country’s third largest city _ killing five people, robbing homes and racketeering.

The Lori Regional Court sentenced Aram Petrosian and Akop Khachatrian to death by firing squad. However, Armenia has a moratorium on the death penalty and the government is preparing to ask parliament to abolish it outright.

Another 11 members of the gang, including one woman, were given sentences from one to 14 years.

Prosecutors accused the band of killing five people, including a high-ranking official in the military police, in attacks in and around the city of Vanadzor. They were also accused of attempting to assassinate the city’s police chief.

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