On March 20, 2020, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor applied to Yerevan City General Jurisdiction Court claiming to urge the RA Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan to make a decision in the frame of Article 181 of the RA Criminal Procedure Code (Decisions made as a result of examination of statements about crimes: In each case of the receipt of information about a crime, one of the following decisions is made: • on initiation of criminal prosecution; • on the dismissal of initiation of criminal prosecution; • on the transfer of the statement by subordination).
Court sessions on A. Razgildeev’s case (charged with the murder of Gyumri resident J. Ghukasyan) are not conducted, since the Russian military base command staff does not bring the defendant to the Court, claiming written safety guarantees for Razgildeev and his accompanying persons. Guided by requirements set in Article 176 and Article 178 of RA Criminal Procedure Code and claiming that intentional and unnecessary delays of trials and not bringing the defendant before the court is a crime, HCA Vanadzor made a crime report to the RA Prosecutor General’s Office. ‘’The military base’s action of not bringing the defendant to the Court factually impedes the administration of justice, since the military base does not, in fact, comply with the lawful claim of the Court and does not bring the defendant to the Court. Whereas, putting it down to the fact that RA state bodies do not present written safety guarantees is not legitimate, since there is no legal act (RA Constitution, RA international treaties, RA Criminal Procedure Code, RA Constitutional Law ‘RA Judicial Code’) claiming that any of the RA state bodies present written safety guarantees for a person charged with crime and for persons accompanying him/her. All these facts combined indicate the commission of a crime envisaged by the RA Criminal Procedure Code, which should become a subject of discussion in the frame of criminal case proceedings, as established by the RA Criminal Procedure Code, and get a relevant criminal legal assessment. Based on the aforementioned, I apply to You to initiate a criminal case to give a criminal legal assessment to the factual circumstances mentioned in this report’, HCA Vanadzor concluded in the crime report addressed to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Let us remind that on March 6, 2020, the court session on J. Ghukasyan’s case was not conducted. Russian military base serviceman was again not brought to the Court. Russian military base commander again informed the Court that their position expressed during the court session held on February 4, 2020, had not changed and they continued claiming written safety guarantees from Armenia. Moreover, accusing prosecutor V. Mirzoyan was not present during the court session, either.
Detention was chosen as a preventive measure for A.Razgildeev and he is held on the territory of Russian military base No. 102. The body conducting the proceedings and the Prosecutor conducting oversight refused the petition made by HCA Vanadzor (as the representative of the victim’s legal successor) to transfer Razgildeev to a penitentiary institution of the RA, as established by the RA Criminal Procedure Code. The decision remained unaltered also after litigating it in Court.
In case of initiating a criminal case, refusing the initiation and transferring the report by subordination, making a relevant decision and sending a copy of the decision to the party that made the report is mandatory and established by law. In this phase, the body conducting the proceedings is supposed to initiate a criminal case if, by the preliminary check of the report, it has obtained sufficient factual data indicating features of crime and if there are no procedural barriers precluding the proceedings of the case, otherwise, it is supposed to make a decision to refuse the initiation of a criminal case. Whereas, not only did the Prosecutor General’s Office not take any decision on the crime report made by HCA Vanadzor, by thus bypassing the requirement to make a decision, as established by Article 181 of the RA Criminal Procedure Code, and manifesting inaction, but it also did not respond to the report made by HCA Vanadzor in any way.
In the report on crime, HCA Vanadzor drew the Court’s attention to a number of important conditions, which served as a basis to submit an application to the Court. In particular, the court sessions were always postponed for different reasons, namely, Shirak region Prosecutor K. Gabrielyan was on vacation, his deputy V.Mirzoyan was attending a regular attestation of prosecutors in the RA Prosecutor General’s Office, judge A. Ghukasyan was ill, the Police were overloaded with work and A.Razgildeev was not brought before the Court.
The Court session scheduled for February 4, 2020, was also postponed. The military base commander petitioned to postpone the session, since the RA Ministry of Defense had not received written safety guarantees for Razgildeev and his accompanying persons. It turns out that taking Razgildeev (who has committed a grave crime against an RA citizen) under his protection and oversight in the Russian military base, the base commander does not want to bring him before the RA Court Instance.
Invoking a number of local and international laws and treaties, HCA Vanadzor once again reaffirmed their approach that the Russian side’s requirement regarding written safety guarantees, has no legal and factual grounds. By this, the Russian military base, in the face of the commander and RF Ministry of Defense, acts out of the scope of the RA state and Constitution requirements, grossly violates requirements of Armenian-Russian treaties and essentially impedes the administration of justice on the RA territory and the functioning of the Court, and intentionally does not do the Court’s lawful requirement of bringing the defendant before the Court.
Invoking the RA Cassation Court legal positions in the application, HCA Vanadzor also touched upon the motives of initiating a criminal case, which should contain information regarding the presence of data indicating crime features. HCA Vanadzor also stressed that during the phase of the criminal case initiation, in the frame of their legal competencies and according to their legal obligations, the investigating body, the investigator and the Prosecutor have a responsibility to check the legality of the motive and sufficiency of grounds for initiating the criminal case.
HCA Vanadzor substantiated the application submitted to Court by Article 180 (1), Article 182 (1) and Article 185 (1) of the RA Criminal Procedural Code, according to which crime reports are to be discussed and solved immediately, a decision should be made on initiating or refusing the initiation of a criminal case and a relevant notification should be sent to the party that made the report, a decision should be made according to provisions of Article 181 of RA Criminal Procedure Code.
The aforementioned facts combined indicate the commission of a crime envisaged under RA Criminal Code, which is to become a subject of discussion in the proceedings established by the RA Criminal Procedural Code and get a criminal legal assessment.
It is also apparent that the report submitted by HCA Vanadzor to the RA Prosecutor General on February 7, 2020, contains information on the existence of data pertaining to crime features. It contains such factual circumstances that prima facie coincide with features of actions (inaction) that are criminally punishable. Therefore, the note made by HCA Vanadzor is a crime report and a motive to initiate a criminal case, and the competent body, in this case RA Prosecutor General, has an obligation to make one of the decisions envisaged under Article 181 of the RA Criminal Procedural Code.
We record that not responding to HCA Vanadzor and not taking a decision regarding the initiation of a criminal case, the RA Prosecutor General manifested inaction and as a result, the Organization’s rights enshrined by law were violated.
Let us add that the Russian military base command staff did not bring A. Razgildeev before the Court for the Court session on March 20 with the same reasoning. The Court has not yet provided the military base’s note to HCA Vanadzor.
Based on the aforementioned, HCA Vanadzor requests the Court to oblige the RA Prosecutor General A.Davtyan to make a decision in the frame of Article 181 of the RA Criminal Procedural Code, for the crime report made by HCA Vanadzor on February 7, 2020, and present it to the latter.