RA National Security Service Expects to Receive Public Support
The National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia, attaching importance to the modus operandi of provision of information to the public to a permissible extent on criminal cases having a great public outcry, and with the goal of preventing the spread of misinformation in the public by the circles interested in the outcome of this criminal case or pursuing self-interest, informs that, in the conditions of accumulation of sufficient evidence obtained during the preliminary investigation of the criminal case under investigation in the Investigation Department of the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia on the case of giving bribe to voters and receiving bribe during the parliamentary elections in Armenia on 2 April, 2017, a decision was made to involve Gagik Kolya Tsarukyan, the chairman of “Prosperous Armenia” Party, the leader of “Tsarukyan” alliance of political parties, as the accused on the grounds of Article 38-154.2, Part 2 of the RA Criminal Code.
On the same day, the body conducting the proceedings, taking into account the factual data obtained on the criminal case, filed a motion with the Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan to apply the arrest of the accused Gagik Tsarukyan as a measure of restraint, which was rejected by the court.
At the same time, in order to consider the reasonable suspicion of a crime incriminated to Gagik Tsarukyan established, the preliminary investigation body submitted to the court not just one relevant fact or information, but a body of facts or information, which allowed the Court to consider substantiated that the accused is related to the committed case, the charge of the criminal case, the factual circumstances, and the incriminated crime.
In particular, as such factual data, the Court referred to and reviewed the testimonies of 5 suspects involved in the case, as well as the reports titled “The number of voters presented in the 2017 elections of PAP deputies in the National Assembly of Armenia and the amounts paid”, found and confiscated during the search of "Yerevan Shin" LLC, in which there were clear notes on the amounts paid for one vote, the amount of bribes given to voters for total votes, the amounts paid to activists, notes on transferring money to other persons on Gagik Tsarukyan’s instructions, which for the objective observer cannot give rise to different interpretations, that was also confirmed by the Court.
At the same time, the Court found that Gagik Tsarukyan's improper conduct during the criminal proceedings could be prevented by the use of other measure of restraint not related to deprivation of liberty.
It is especially noteworthy, that, at the initial stage of the initiation of this criminal case, more than 80 searches were carried out, during which, in the apartments of the members or activists of the “Prosperous Armenia” Party, other facts, directly confirming the fact of giving bribes to voters in a targeted manner to vote for “Tsarukyan” alliance of political parties and the candidate nominated by it during the parliamentary elections in Armenia on 2 April, 2017, were found and confiscated, in which there were already personal data of the voters, the number of the family members, notes on the corresponding amount of 10,000 AMD given to each person, and signatures confirming the fact of receiving bribe.
The factual data in the criminal case, including the testimony of several other persons involved in the case as the accused, as well as the testimony of several dozen witnesses, provide grounds for making reasonable allegations that the above-mentioned reports have already been drawn up by those persons who were directly involved in the giving of bribes to voters in a targeted manner, after which the reports were submitted to the leadership of the party in a hierarchical manner.
Though, more than three years have passed since the incident, which certainly causes certain difficulties in the process of gathering evidence, as a result of complex operative-search measures, as well as investigative and other procedural actions taken in parallel with them by the RA National Security Service, it was possible to detect even years later numerous other pieces of evidence, proving that bribes were given to voters by an organized group to vote for “Tsarukyan” alliance of political parties and the candidate nominated by it during the parliamentary elections in Armenia on 2 April, 2017, the content of which is clearly not limited to the fact that they were committed only in the territory of the Gegharkunik province, and in that direction necessary actions are being taken at present.
Currently, at the disposal of the preliminary investigation body, there are such materials, the study of which shows that the personal data of specific servicemen, according to the places of service, the places of deployment of barracks, the terms of service, were also identified by the leadership of the party, lists of persons who expressed readiness to receive bribes were compiled in advance, they were compared and checked both before and after the elections, hundreds of millions of drams consisting of banknotes of 10,000 AMD were received in the pre-election period from the commercial banks operating in Armenia, and many other similar factual data, in connection with which active investigative actions are also carried out.
Taking into account the public interest in revealing the full picture of the crime committed, the RA National Security Service expects to receive public support as well and urges RA citizens to immediately inform the body conducting the proceedings in case of having any information about this case.
The Prosecutor General’s Office of the RA will appeal the decision of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan to the Criminal Court of Appeal.