Materials Prepared in the Investigation Department of the RA NSS
According to the factual data obtained from the materials prepared by the RA NSS Investigation Department, information was received that state officials, through an organized criminal mechanism, during the Yerevan Council of Elders elections held on May 14, 2017 – in the period before and after the setting of the election date, through persuasion, financial interest or other illegal means, incited about 100-120 thousand Armenian citizens eligible to vote but registered outside the capital and having a temporary or permanent residence in other communities, to formally move for a short period of time from their actual places of registration, and in violation of the requirements prescribed by the RA legislation and other legal acts, to get registered, by using documents containing obviously false information, at different addresses of the administrative districts of Yerevan that were not their temporary or permanent place of residence; under such circumstances, the state officials got an opportunity to include the mentioned persons in the voter lists of local self-government bodies, thus to ensure the necessary number of “for” votes in the elections to the Yerevan Council of Elders, and immediately after the completion of the elections, they moved these persons again and registered them in the places of their real residence outside Yerevan.
In addition, in the preparation of materials, factual data were obtained that members of the “Prosperous Armenia” Party, founded on April 30, 2004, participating in the elections to the National Assembly and local self-government bodies held in various years in the Republic of Armenia, to ensure votes in favor of their party, their own candidates, any of the referendum campaign initiatives, personally or through various intermediaries, gave to voters bribes - money, property or other benefits - and illegally obtained the desired results in various elections or referenda.
In connection with the incident a criminal case was initiated in the Investigation Department of the RA NSS on June 15, 2020, on the grounds of Article 308, Part 2 of the RA Criminal Code, Article 149, Part 2, Clauses 2, 4, 5 of the RA Criminal Code, Article 154.2, Part 2 of the RA Criminal Code; large-scale investigative and other procedural actions and operational-search measures are being taken.
Irrefutable factual data were obtained from the preliminary investigation of the criminal case, that Naira Zohrabyan, RA MP from the “Prosperous Armenia” Party, the head of RA NA Standing Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs, speaking with associates on the results of the elections held after the revolution in Armenia in May 2018, repeatedly allowed herself insulting remarks regarding many thousands citizens who freely expressed their will, calling them sheep and sectarians.
Moreover, as a result of operational-search measures, it was also established that during conversations with the same associates, Naira Zohrabyan repeatedly admitted the fact that the “Prosperous Armenia” Party was able to secure the required number of votes in the elections held in previous years exclusively as a result of distributing electoral bribes to the citizens of Armenia, verbatim stating the following: “... it turned out that the “Prosperous Armenia” Party has no votes in Armenia without election bribes... do we need to face the truth or not? We have what we have ... that’s the reality".
From the conversations it also becomes clear that Zohrabyan and her associates admit that after the revolution the mechanisms for achieving success by distributing electoral bribes were not applicable, consequently their party was no longer able to secure the required number of votes.
Note: The suspect or accused of an alleged crime is considered innocent as long as his guilt is not proven in a manner prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure of RA - by the court decision entered into legal force.