Police arrest suspects in television chief’s murder

New York, March 6, 2003—Armenian police yesterday arrested six suspects in the December 2002 murder of Tigran Nagdalian, the 36-year-old head of the state-owned Armenian Public Television. The police continue to look for other individuals linked to the crime.

Law enforcement authorities have not released the suspects’ names or details of the crime, including the possible motive. But officials revealed that during the arrest they found and confiscated the handgun used to kill Nagdalian.

Nagdalian was shot in the head as he was leaving his parents’ home in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, on December 28. The journalist was rushed to a hospital, where he died during emergency surgery later that day, according to press reports.

Nagdalian also hosted a weekly news program on Armenian Public Television and had worked for the Armenian service of the U.S. government­funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from 1995 to 1997.

He was a strong supporter and friend of Armenia’s president, Robert Kocharian. Initially, government officials said that the murder was politically motivated, but some local media experts pointed to Nagdalian’s lavish lifestyle and business interests as a possible explanation for his assassination.