Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The Appeal Court refused the appeal of the Ministry of Finance regarding Hovhannes Ghazaryan’s compensation case

June 19, 2020

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In 2019, Yerevan First Instance Court partly upheld Hovhannes Ghazaryan’s representative, HCA Vanadzor advocate Ani Chatinyan’s application claiming compensation for non-pecuniary damage. A. Chatinyan justified the claim with the fact that Hovhannes had been kept in inhuman conditions and claimed AMD 15.748.144 as compensation. The Court upheld the claim in the amount of 2 million AMD. We have touched upon Hovhannes Ghazaryan’s problem in our previous publications


On 31 January 2020, the respondent Ministry of Finance made an appeal to the RA Civil  Court of Appeal against Yerevan General Jurisdiction Court of First Instance judgment of 2 December 2019.   


According to the appealing Ministry of Finance, by making the judgment, the subordinate Court made violations of material and procedural right norms, in particular, by incorrectly interpreting requirements of a number of articles of the RA Civil and Civil Procedure Codes.  


HCA Vanadzor advocate A. Chatinyan, who represents H. Ghazaryan’s interests, presented a response to the appeal, in which once again she touched upon the conditions where H. Ghazaryan had been kept and his distress.


When examining the case, the Appeal Court took into account a number of conditions which had an impact when making a decision on refusing the appeal. In particular, importance was given to the details of the letter by the Head of Nubarashen penitentiary institution regarding the conditions of the place where H. Ghazaryan had been kept. According to that information, the cells in which he had been kept had 30 sq. m. area, and 12-13 persons had been kept there, which contradicts the European standards.


Also, H. Ghazaryan gave testimony that when deprived of liberty, he had problems connected with a dentist and his stomach, but he had not been provided with medical care. This, too, was taken into account.


Making a decision on refusal, the Appeal Court presented the relevant arguments. A number of domestic and international laws were invoked, according to which, everyone has the right to compensation for the damage caused, moreover, the procedure and conditions of compensation are established in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  


The Appeal Court stressed that in 2016, when H. Ghazaryan was arrested, his right to security was restricted. The Court also paid attention to the condition that according to the decision of Deputy Head of the Investigation Department of Corruption, Organized and Official Crimes of Special Investigation Service, in 2018, criminal prosecution against him stopped due to the lack of corpus delicti in H. Ghazaryan՛s action according to the RA Criminal Code, and the applied preventive measure was eliminated.


According to the Appeal Court, the proofs of the case were completely enough to consider confirmed the ground of compensation for non-pecuniary damage. Summing up those justifications, the Court did not consider legitimate the argument by the appealing party that the actions of the preliminary investigation body had not been illegal and the plaintiff had not undergone mental or physical sufferings, which did not have any substantiating proof.


The Appeal Court found that as an acquitted person, H. Ghazaryan has the right to claim compensation for the damage. Agreeing with the conclusion of the Court of First Instance that 2 million AMD must be set as the amount of non-pecuniary damage, the Appeal Court refused the appeal of the Ministry of Finance.


No cassation appeal was made against the decision of the Civil Court of Appeal.   

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