The Ministry of Justice clarifies

06/03/2020 Font

 Today, during the press conference taken place in the Media Center on the topic “Attempted murder in the Penitentiary Institution, with the support of law enforcement bodies; how the criminal world co-operates with the staff of the Penitentary Institution”, speaker Artur Sakunts made a number of allegations that have nothing to do with both the objective reality and the factual circumstances of the case known up to now.

In particular, the speaker accused the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia of failing to organise proper supervision over V. A. who has been detained for a long time, i.e. inaction in ensuring his security, while V.A., having been a detainee of “Nubarashen” Penitentiary Institution since 20 January 2018, never reported about any danger threatening him at the Penitentiary Institution either personally or through his advocates, relatives or other persons in 2019-2020.

With regard to the incident taken place on 25 February 2020, V.A. declared and stated that he had received the bodily injuries as a result of slipping and falling. It is worth mentioning that up to now, no information about the contrary has been reported by V.A., even his advocates deny that V.A. has informed about beating him.

The initial picture of the incident taken place with V.A. under such conditions has been disclosed exclusively by the operational measures taken by the Penitentiary Service, which clearly proves the consistency of the Penitentiary Service aimed at excluding criminal subculture and cases of violence in penitentiary institutions.

Immediately after receiving intelligence, the materials prepared at “Nubarashen” Penitentiary Institution with regard to the case of the bodily injuries received by V.A. were, by the Letter of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, sent to the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia to resolve the further course through the procedure prescribed.

Moreover, the fact of sending the materials in order of subordination is conditioned not only by the necessity of carrying out a number of urgent actions for the comprehensive, thorough and impartial examination of the factual circumstances of the case, but also by the necessity of making subject of examination the commission by the relevant officials of the mentioned Penitentiary Institution of prima facie official crimes.

The above-mentioned also proves the fact of displaying sufficient diligence and consistency by the Penitentiary Service and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia in subjecting all the guilty persons to liability.

Moreover, even after sending the materials to the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia, the Penitentiary Service has pursued a full disclosure of the whole picture of the incident, due to which intelligence has been received according to which the beating of V. A. was directed and organised by one of the persons with the highest status of criminal hierarchy, residing abroad, Armenian by nationality, who, by the way, is not the person mentioned by the speaker during the press conference.

The speaker also mentioned several times about the attempted murder of V.A. by stabbing him; such factual circumstances do not correspond to the reality, either. V.A. was not stabbed, but was beaten. Moreover, his bodily injuries were not incompatible with life. At the Penitentiary Institution, V. A. complained only about the pains of the hand injury he had received years ago before it.

The Penitentiary Institution reiterates its position that fight against criminal subculture will be uncompromising and that all persons involved in such phenomena, including penitentiary officers, will receive an adequate assessment and severe punishment.

However, this process will also be carried out exclusively in strict compliance with the requirements of law.

Transfers of heads of the penitentiary institutions have been and will continue to be of periodic nature in the system, and the processes of dismissing them from their positions or temporarily terminating the term of office thereof are regulated by the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Penitentiary Service” and relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia, in case of existence of the grounds provided whereby or upon their first receipt, the adequate and the most severe measures will be immediately taken.

Considering the existence of criminal subcultural in penitentiary institutions principally unacceptable, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and the management of the Penitentiary Service have also promptly taken other legal and organisational measures; official investigation has been instituted, consultations with the participation of heads of all penitentiary institutions have been held, during which the necessity of the fight against criminal subculture and corruption, as well as exclusion of cases of violation conditioned by the non-statutory and hierarchical relations between persons deprived of liberty were once again stressed and emphasised.

Such measures will be ongoing; the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and the Penitentiary Service will act decisively and will remain committed to the fight against criminal subculture, which will make the radical reforms carried out in the system of the Penitentiary Service irreversible.


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