- September 11, 2018
When the RA Police invades your house and starts to secretly record
The Former Deputy Chief of RA Police, Hunan Poghosyan, is well-known to the public from the events of 2016, when the patrol service regiment was captured. At that time the police remained without a permanent “mouthpiece,” as a result of hostage taking of Yerevan police chief, Valeri Osipyan. Hence, it was Hunan Poghosyan who was calling for vigilance to the people and talking to journalists on Khorenatsi street.
With this article we want to expose Hunan Poghosyan to the public from another perspective: that is how three years ago with his signature the police had invaded the RA citizen’s house and made a secret recording based on a fraud.
A criminal case was instituted against human rights activist Marina Poghosyan in 2015 for selling the house of a Canadian-Armenian Arpi Meras. Within the framework of the case, the police organized an “Internal observation” operation, during which officers broke into the house of Marina Poghosyan, making video recording, as well as secretly recording Poghosyan in an open-air café. The “Internal observation” (Nerkin Ditum in Armenian) operation is a type of search when the citizen is not informed about secret recordings. This operation is within the law only if the citizen is recognized as accused. However, this method is not applicable to all the accused. In fact, the “Internal observation” operation is not a frequently used one; the police use this measure when facts relevant to the case should be obtained and when such facts cannot be achieved otherwise.
When police broke into Marina Poghosyan’s personal space, she was not an accused in the case, moreover she did not even give a testimony. Her house was invaded due to the following sentence written in the motion of Hunan Poghosyan: “Taking into account that Marina Poghosyan participated in the crime and conceals this information from the investigation…” Once again, we want to stress the fact that Marina Poghosyan had not been interrogated yet when this motion was written.
-The citizen’s right to apartment immunity was violated. In the house of a person without a “status of an accused” was implemented the “Internal observation” operation, the results of which eventually were recognized as useless for the case. The Prosecutor’s Office claims, that the police acted according to the motion that was signed by Hunan Poghosyan.
-In the café, as well as in any public space, the police cannot implement the “Internal observation” operation. According to the Law of “Operative Investigative Activity,” the “Internal observation” is carried out at the place of residence of a citizen. The Prosecutor’s Office states that the word “building” is used in the law, so it is possible to record in the café as well. As a response to this, M. Poghosyan handed a copy of the law to the Prosecutor’s Office, where it is listed what can be considered as citizen’s place of residence; café is not in the list.
-The citizen’s right of a fair trail was violated. Police documents were made retroactively. M. Poghosyan was recorded in her home and in café on 11 September 2015. According to the documents, the permission to record was issued on the same day, hours before the actual recordings. How could the police predict when and in which café M. Poghosyan would be in order to pre-petition for making recoding there?
-The presumption of innocence was violated. M. Poghosyan, who was not yet interrogated was presented as “a participant of the crime.” in the motion of H.Poghosyan.
What will happen in the end:
Marina Poghosyan filed a report against Hunan Poghosyan about the abovementioned crime. The investigate authority decided not to file a criminal case. A complaint against this decision was submitted to the court. Now this complaint is in the Court of Appeal. If the court satisfies the motion, a criminal case will be brought against H. Poghosyan on charges of false information.
If the Court of Appeal does not satisfy the petition, M. Poghosyan intends to apply to the Court of Cassation, and then if this fails to apply to the European Court; based on the right to fair trial, the presumption of innocence and the violation of the right to apartment immunity.
In order to understand the picture accurately, it should be emphasized that the citizen who was secretly recorded by police in her house is a human rights activist by profession and could have had interesting information for the law enforcement agencies. Accordingly, all the facts were adapted and falsified to satisfy the curiosity of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Police. The fraudulent criminal case against Poghosyan was proved in the Yerevan City Court of General Jurisdiction, which recognized Marina Poghosyan as innocent, “shattering” the accusation brought by the Prosecutor’s Office. Moreover, the Prosecutor’s Office of the RA has not even appealed the verdict, in essence, agreeing that the case against Poghosyan was initially false.