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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 14:13 GMT
Armenia parliament killers jailed
Scene inside parliament during attack
The dramatic scenes were shown on television
Six gunmen who attacked the Armenian parliament, killing the prime minister, have been jailed for life.

The speaker of parliament and six other people also died in the 1999 attack.

The gunmen were led by Nairi Unanyan, a former journalist and member of the nationalist Dashnak party, who said he and his group planned a coup.

Correspondents say a guilty verdict never appeared in doubt, but many saw the trial as a cover-up for a plot involving senior government figures.

The gang burst into the parliament chamber and opened fire in October, 1999.

Vazgen Sarkisian
Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian was among the dead
Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian, Speaker Karen Demirchian and six other officials and members of parliament died.

Up to 40 others were held hostage, before the group finally surrendered after being promised television airtime and a fair trial.

A seventh member of the gang, found with weapons in his car outside parliament, was jailed for 14 years.

The men were sentenced by a court in the capital, Yerevan, after a trial lasting more than two-and-a-half years.

They claimed they were saving Armenia from economic collapse, accusing Mr Sarkisian of misleading the nation.


SEE ALSO:
In pictures: Armenia's grief
30 Oct 99  |  Europe
Armenia gunmen charged
01 Nov 99  |  Europe
TV statement by Armenian gunmen
28 Oct 99  |  Monitoring
Armenia: Portrait of a radical
30 Oct 99  |  Europe


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