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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Man guilty of burning body murder
Nishan Bakunts, 28, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was sentenced
Armenian Nishan Bakunts lived in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk,
A man has been jailed for life for murdering an Armenian gangster whose burning body was found in a field.

Nishan Bakunts, 28, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday after being convicted of murdering Hovhannes Amirian, 42.

Bakunts' father-in-law Misha Chatsjatrijan, 44, who is from the Netherlands, was cleared of murder, but found guilty of assisting an offender.

Chatsjatrijan was sentenced to three years in prison. He may be deported.

The body of Mr Amirian, who was commonly known as Sako, was found at Upton, Cambridgeshire, in December 2002 and not identified for a year.

Sentencing, Mrs Justice Cox told Bakunts: "Although the victim was a violent and dangerous man there is no evidence to suggest you were provoked to kill him in this way."

Hovhannes Amirian
One man was cleared of murdering Hovhannes Amirian

She passed a life sentence, telling him he must serve 16 years before the parole board could consider his release.

She told Chatsjatrijan: "It is in the public interest for you to be severely punished. You knew Sako had been murdered and yet you deliberately set about helping Bakunts destroy all signs and cover his tracks."

Bakunts' partner Arpine Karapetian had already been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by concealing and disposing of evidence after Sako's murder. She is yet to be sentenced.

Mrs Justice Cox praised the police officers involved in the investigation which had been "persistent and meticulous, demonstrating consummate skills where there was very little evidence".

"It deserves the highest praise," she added.




SEE ALSO:
Hunt for 'burning body' killer
27 Oct 05 |  England
Victim had been stabbed and shot
11 Oct 05 |  England
Two men deny murdering Armenian
10 Oct 05 |  Cambridgeshire


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