Marina Poghosyan, President of “Veles” human rights organization, says.
On September 27, 2018, various Armenian media outlets reported that 254 people were deprived of their diplomatic passports. And how had they been granted? Whether criminal prosecution was carried out against guilty officials for issuing passports of persons who had been deprived of diplomatic passports?
Yesterday, the president of “Veles” human rights organization Marina Poghosyan informed “Aravot” that she had applied to the Prosecutor General requesting to initiate a criminal case on this occasion.
“The issue of our human rights organization is to fight against usury, fraud, corruption, tax avoidance, other vicious phenomena and any human rights violations. “Veles” considers it our duty to attach the Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia’s attention to the case mentioned above, as it is evident that 254 persons, who were deprived of their diplomatic passports on non-legitimate grounds, had been granted those diplomatic passports by abuse of authority by officials liable for having issued the passports. Moreover, granting passports to persons who are not eligible for diplomatic passports involves a number of corruption risks, which we believe should also become a subject of compulsory examination”.
According to my interlocutor, as a result of having issued those passports to persons who were not entitled to be granted diplomatic passports, damage was caused to the state budget of Armenia.
Referring to Article 308 (1) of the Criminal Code of Armenia, the human rights organization requests to subject to criminal liability those officials who had granted diplomatic passports through abuse of their official authority.
According to the mentioned law, “abuse of official authority or duties by a state official for mercenary interests, personal, other interests or group interests, which caused essential damage to the legal interests of citizens, organizations, public or state rights (in case of property loss, the amount (value) exceeding 500 minimal salaries), is punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 300 minimal salaries, or with deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or practice certain activities for up to five years, or with arrest for the term of two-three months, or imprisonment for the term of up to four years”.
Prosecutor of the Department for Supervision over the Investigation of Especially Important Cases of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Armenia, A. Mnatsakanyan, in his letter of 12/26 / 15-18 of December 5, stated that the report submitted by the human rights organization was left without any response.
“Veles” received the mentioned letter of December 5 on December 19.
According to the human rights defender’s assessment, “Prosecutor of the Department for Supervision over the Investigation of Especially Important Cases of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Armenia, A. Mnatsakanyan responded in writing to the person having submitted the report on the crime and did not make a decision based on the crime report”. This decision will be appealed by the organization.
R.M., “Aravot” daily newspaper, 27.12.2018