Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

HCA Vanadzor lawyer’s claim on non-pecuniary compensation upheld in part

March 12, 2020

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Armavir region resident Tigran Balayan’s rights were violated during the time period preceding the Government change in 2018.


HCA Vanadzor undertook the protection of the citizen’s rights in 2018.


On January 23, 2019, Arayik Zalyan filed a claim in Yerevan General Jurisdiction Court against the RA Ministry of Finances. A.Zalyan claimed to recognize the violation of Tigran Balayan’s right to liberty and security and compensate for the damage caused to him as a result of illegal criminal prosecution. 


Let us remind that on April 22, 2018, Tigran Balayan was apprehended to the RA Police Armavir division under the suspicion of participating in mass disorders in Yerevan city Baghramyan avenue and was arrested on the same day in the frame of the criminal case under Article 225 (2) of the RA Criminal Code (…Doing violence, pogroms, arson, destruction or damage to property, using fire-arms, explosives or explosive devices, or using armed resistance to the representative of the authorities by a participant during mass disorder).


On April 23, 2018, Tigran Balayan was released from imprisonment based on the absence of grounds to be held in custody.  


According to the decision made on April 30, 2018, by V. Avetisyan, Deputy Head of Investigation Department of Tortures and Crimes against Person, criminal prosecution ceased based on the lack of corpus delicti in the action. HCA Vanadzor lawyer Arayik Zalyan, who was Tigran Balayan’s representative in the Court, claims that factually Tigran Balayan was deprived of liberty for one day, and was criminally prosecuted for 8 days during April 22-30. Invoking a number of Articles of RA Constitution and international legislation on compensation in such situations, in particular, Article 27 of RA Constitution, which guarantees everyone’s right toliberty, HCA Vanadzor lawyer claimed a non-pecuniary compensation (caused to the citizen as a result of illegal criminal prosecution) from the RA Ministry of Finances in the amount of AMD 1, 653, 450. A. Zalyan justified the amount of the claim by ECtHR precedent decisions.  


The Court acknowledged that there was a ground for compensation of non-pecuniary damage, namely, mental suffering caused by violation of the right to liberty and security, based on the fact that the proofs of the case substantiated that the citizen was deprived of liberty for one day. At the same time, the Court recorded that the proofs presented during the trial were enough to consider confirmed that there was a ground for compensation of non-pecuniary damage and therefore, also for compensation of non-pecuniary damage caused as a result of deprivation of liberty for 1 day and the damage caused until the end of criminal prosecution.  


While with regard to the amount of money for compensation, i.e. AMD 1,653,450, the Court had certain observations and found that the claim was subject to being partially upheld.The Court substantiated its position by Article 1087.2 (5), (6) and (9) of RA Civil Code, in particular focusing on Article 5, which states that the Court decides the amount of non-pecuniary damage taking into account principles of reasonableness, justice and proportionality.  


Taking into consideration that Tigran Balayan was deprived of liberty for one day, guided by principles of reasonableness, justice and propoertionality, taking into account the nature and duration of his mental suffering, Yerevan city General Jurisdiction Court, presided by judge Naira Avetisyan, made a judgment on February 4, 2020, to partly uphold HCA Vanadzor lawyer Arayik Zalyan’s claim and set AMD 500,000 for the compensation of non-pecuniary damage. 

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