Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The criminal case of Edgar Tsatinyan’s death should not be examined in the investigative division of the Investigative Committee Avan and Nor Nork administrative districts

June 6, 2019

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The criminal case initiated on the basis of the failure to provide proper medical aid to Edgar Tsatinyan who died on April 8, 2019, in Armenia MC, is examined in the RA Investigative Committee Yerevan city investigative department Avan and Nor Nork administrative districts investigative division.


E. Tsatinyan was transferred to Armenia MC after being tortured in the RA Police Nor Nork division. His family members stated that he had been beaten in the Police division and made to give false testimony while being threatened that a narcotic drug would be “placed in his pocket”. As a result, frightened of criminal liability, E. Tsatinyan swallowed the drug and died of acute poisoning hours after being transferred to hospital. His relatives claimed that he was not provided with proper medical aid in Armenia MC and upon the transfer to hospital his lip and denture were injured and his right hand wrist was bandaged, which evidenced that violence had been applied to him in the Police division.


A criminal case was also initiated on the grounds of torturing E. Tsatinyan in the Police division. Larisa Yetaryan – E. Tsatinyan’s mother – was recognized as the victim’s successor. Her rights are represented by Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor lawyer Arayik Zalyan.


It was within the framework of the criminal case initiated on the basis of torture that the injured party was informed about the criminal case initiated on the basis of providing improper medical aid. The injured party did not have official information for a long time.


On May 7, 2019, A. Zalyan – representative of the victim’s successor – made a petition of recusal substantiating that the criminal case on the basis of torture was still being examined, therefore there was still reasonable suspicion regarding the Police Nor Nork division employees’ guilt in E. Tsatinyan’s death, the investigator could be an accomplice in the commission of the crime and thus an interested person and might not ensure an objective examination.  


Besides, in compliance with administrative distribution, the examination of the death case recorded in Armenia MC was not to be conducted by Avan and Nor Nork administrative districts investigative division, since the structure that made the report is located in Ajapnyak administrative district.


Avan and Nor Nork administrative districts’ Prosecutor’s Office senior prosecutor N. Topuzyan rejected the recusal petition. On May 23, 2019, A. Zalyan filed a complaint with the RA Prosecutor General’s Office. In the complaint, he presented substantiations regarding the condition of the investigative division being interested and prosecutor N. Topuzyan not paying attention to those facts.


Thus, until May 7, 2019, the injured party had no information regarding the criminal case initiated on April 15, 2019, while criminal cases pertaining to violation of the right to life must be examined within a short time, the investigator should have taken prompt actions, including interrogation of medical workers and the injured party. However, as mentioned above, at least the injured party was informed about the criminal case 22 days after its initiation. In case of the postponement of these actions, the likelihood of agreements between persons who committed the crime increases.


In the complaint, A. Zalyan also invoked the fact of the violation of the rule of territorial jurisdiction – the criminal case on the fact of death is not to be examined by Avan and Nor Nork administrative districts investigative division.


It is noteworthy that when discussing the recusal petition, prosecutor N. Topuzyan did not pay attention to these substantiations and refused the petition reasoning that it contained formal flaws, even with certain factual distortions, which indicates the unconscientious  attitude towards the examination of the case. In fact, the injured party was deprived of the possibility to exercise their rights due to formal shortcomings.


No answer has yet been received from the RA Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the complaint filed on May 23, 2019.


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