A Russian soldier who confessed to breaking into a home and killing seven members of an Armenian family will be tried by a military court, officials told Russia's Interfax news agency.
In January, Valery Permyakov, 18, who was based in the Armenian city of Gyumri, confessed to shooting dead six members of the Avetisyan family, including a two-year-old girl, in their home in the early hours of 12 January 2015. A six-month-old baby died in hospital after being fatally injured in the attack.
The motive for the mass killing remains unclear. Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma's Committee on CIS Affairs and Relations With Russian Nationals Abroad, said on 29 March that Permyakov would be tried at the Russian army's base in Armenia, reports the Moscow Times.
Contradicting an earlier claim by Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee, that Permyakov's trial would be held in public, Slutsky said that military authorities had not yet decided if the public would be given access to the trial.
A member of Armenia's National Assembly, Aleksandr Arzumanian, has demanded that Permyakov be tried in an Armenian court, but Russian authorities said that the attack is a "military crime" so falls under the jurisdiction of Russian justice system.
Permyakov was caught attempting to the cross the Armenian border to Turkey in the wake of the attack, reports Armenpress. The killings provoked mass protests in Armenia, with demonstrators picketing the Russian military base, and demanding that Permyakov stand trial in the country.