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Speech of Chairman of RA Investigative Committee Hayk Grigoryan at Solemn Session Dedicated to Day of Employee of Investigative Committee

08.10.2018 14:07

The Speech of the Chairman of the RA Investigative Committee Hayk Grigoryan at Solemn Session Dedicated to the Day of the Employee of the Investigative Committee.

Honorable Prime Minister, Respectable guests and partners,

On May 19, 2014 a law “On Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia” was adopted by the RA National Assembly which came into force on June 28, 2014 and pursuant to transitional provisions it became fully operational starting from October 8. Just that day was defined as professional holiday of the employee of the Investigative Committee which today coincides with the Committee’s four-year anniversary. Let me heartily congratulate all of us on that occasion and thank those present for honorable participation in the solemn session.

Investigative bodies are the driving force of pretrial proceeding and in this context the Investigative Committee has a primary role as it is the only nationwide investigative body in our country which has territorial subdivisions in all provinces of the country, in all administrative districts of the capital city. Suffice it to say that only in 2017 about 90.6% of criminal cases investigated in our country was investigated in the Investigative Committee.

I congratulate all of us on the occasion of professional holiday and wish success in professional as well as all spheres of life.

I would like to assure that the employees of the Investigative Committee fully realize the significance and importance of their role in the establishment of legitimacy in the country, have will and determination to serve our people, legal order.

Mr. Prime Minister,

Considering that in a day it is also 100 days of my tenure, on this special day let me present the steps taken to enhance the quality and efficiency of pretrial proceeding, to disclose the crimes within the criminal cases investigated in the proceeding of the Investigative Committee, to protect the rights and legal interests of citizens affected by crime, to assist the administration of justice in the country, as well as the issues in the sphere. So, I beg Your pardon related to duration of my speech.

The Investigative Committee's function to conduct pretrial proceeding is fixed by RA Constitution.

During the 9 months of 2018 the RA Investigative Committee was overloaded; 19.520 criminal cases were investigated in the investigators’ proceeding which has increased in 4.104 or 26.6% as compared with the same period of the previous year. Moreover, 41% of the criminal cases were investigated from July 10 to October 10, 2018. The average load of one investigator was 46 criminal cases. It is the highest index in all CIS states. Besides, about three dozens of investigators of the Investigative Committee were sent to other investigative bodies – Special Investigatory Service, Investigative Department of National Security Service and were involved in the investigation in their proceeding.

I must state that in the context of unprecedented increase of criminal cases the high productivity level was not only maintained but also grew; as compared with the same period of the previous year the number of completed cases has increased in 2347. During 9 months preliminary investigation of 6390 criminal cases was completed 2176 or 34.1% of which was completed in the third quarter. These statistical data show that the employees of the RA Investigative Committee did not spare energy and effort to complete preliminary investigation as soon as possible thus not causing unnecessary inconveniences to citizens.

Moreover, I would like to emphasize that the number of suspended criminal cases is not included in the standards for determination of the productivity of the RA Investigative Committee. Suspension of criminal cases is not viewed by us as a positive index of investigatory work as it shows that desired result was not achieved by steps taken to disclose the crime, the crime was not disclosed, the defendant was not identified, was not found. In addition, I have instructed to study the materials of criminal cases initiated formerly on grave and particularly grave crimes and suspended, and using modern criminological and expertise opportunities to activate investigatory, operative-intelligence measures to disclose them.   

Provision of comprehensive preliminary investigation is an important challenge for the Investigative Committee. A very clear requirement has been fixed by legislation and the investigative body is obliged to provide comprehensive, objective and complete investigation of each criminal case. At the same time, the mentality from the Soviet Union time that the investigator is a body conducting criminal prosecution is still preserved.

Consistent steps are taken to get rid of this mentality which must have a legislative solution, as well. Preliminary investigation shall be directed to disclosure of objective reality and shall not be constrained with accusatory evidence. Pretrial proceeding is one of the important stages for administration of justice. It is not a secret that within criminal cases evidence are mainly formed by the investigator, so while conducting investigation the investigator must be free and fair to find out the objective reality. Only in this case we will be able to reinforce the bases of legal state where the citizen can feel protected by law, where everybody will be equal before the law ensuring the inevitability of punishment, indeed.

Fight against corruption. In recent 100 days the RA Investigative Committee has had its active contribution to fight against corruption. I have instructed to make summaries on corruption-related crimes on weekly bases by spheres. If we briefly sum up the results of preliminary investigation of criminal cases on corruption-related crimes in 9 months of 2018 we can say that corruption manifestations were disclosed in the most different spheres of state government. Particularly, hundreds of criminal cases were initiated on abuses committed by employees, heads and officials of schools, preschool institutions, higher educational institutions, medical centers, social service and “Haypost”, companies engaged in technical inspection of cars, nature protection and “Hayantar” SNCO.

In the framework of the mentioned criminal cases charges were pressed against school headmasters, heads of health care employees, local self-government bodies, employees of territorial agency of social assistance, “Haypost” CJSC, Ministry of Nature Protection, officials, foresters of “Hayantar” SNCO and so on.

According to study of criminal cases the abuses were massive and the state was caused property damage in particularly large amount and the investigation is constantly focused on the steps taken to restore them.

Restoration of property damage caused by crime. Within criminal cases investigated in 9 months of 2018 damage of 1.215.883.750 AMD was restored 49% - 573.302.915 AMD of which was restored in recent months – from July 10 to October 10, 2018.

For comparison, I would like to say that within criminal cases investigated in 2017 537.869.999 AMD was restored. That is, during 9 months of 2018 about 2.5 times more money was restored.

In the mentioned period within different criminal cases 845 searches were conducted, 172 persons were arrested by investigators, 1335 persons were involved as a defendant 101 of which are officials. On the base of the motion submitted by the investigative body detention was used as a pretrial measure against 147 persons, other means of procedural compulsion – temporary suspension of tenure was used against 35 officials. 94 motions on crime prevention, abolishment of their circumstances were submitted to relevant institutions, in the result of explanatory work 194 defendants under persecution turned themselves to investigative divisions, moreover 124 persons charged with evasion from military service were drafted to the RA Armed Forces.

 Efficiency of investigative bodies’ activity really depends on quality of cooperation with operative-intelligence bodies, all law enforcement bodies.

Mr. Prime Minister, I can assure that the efficiency of cooperation between preliminary investigation and inquest bodies, partner institutions has significantly enhanced. Each of them, realizing its functions in law enforcement system, is seeking to carry out its duties in a conscientious way. This is the case when, I think, departmental healthy competition to disclose abuses has only a positive outcome.

In order to keep along with the time and to carry out the requirements to the Investigative Committee in a best way a number of law drafts on amendments in current laws were worked out by us.

Pursuant to studies, the cases of removing the investigators from the proceeding have increased by three times. RA Criminal Procedure Code allows to remove the inquest officer, investigator from the proceeding if law was violated during the investigation of the criminal case. It is found that any violation of law, including formal, is a basis for removing the inquest officer, investigator from the proceeding. This formulation of law is quite common which creates legal uncertainty and is a base for spatial interpretations. In order to regulate the issue a draft on amendments in RA Criminal Procedure Code has been worked out by us.

Recruitment of the Investigative Committee with skilled and experienced staff is a most important issue. Currently, unlike other investigative bodies the candidates pass through complicated and durable procedure to take investigator’s position in the RA Investigative Committee. Such approach creates additional complications for those who want to be employed in the Investigative Committee. The current procedure for the employment in the Investigative Committee makes organize additional examinations 3-4 times a year. However, even in these conditions we fail to do appointments for vacant positions. Currently, there are 31 vacant positions for investigator in the Investigative Committee. On the one hand the reduction of the number of investigators, on the other hand the vacant positions affect the load of investigators, therefore on efficiency and quality of preliminary investigation, as well. For that reason, a package of law drafts has been worked out by my instruction which proposes to make amendments in Laws “On Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia” and “Academy of Justice of the Republic of Armenia”.

By another proposed amendment – draft on making amendments in RA Government’s decision N 522-Ա dated April 26, 2018 it is planned to create a specialized department for investigation of crimes related to implementation of electoral right, to recruit the mentioned department with appropriate staff due to which the investigation of cases with apparent crime elements of electoral breaches will be conducted by specialized investigators.

While speaking about amendments in RA laws I would like to refer to a very important initiative, as well. It is not a secret that Armenia is in extremely hard geopolitical conditions and there is a danger of war. We are obliged to be ready for any surprise in all spheres of social life. However, it seems we fail in regulation of pretrial and judicial proceeding. The point is that special measures and limitations are envisaged by the RA Law “On Legal Regime of Martial Law” in case martial law is declared, but no provision is envisaged related to possible peculiarities of criminal proceeding in conditions of martial law. Whereas, it is obvious that in conditions of martial law during conduction of criminal proceeding the usual criminal procedural institutions and regulations cannot be used fully. It means that a chapter entitled “Peculiarities of Proceeding during Legal Regime of Martial Law” shall be envisaged in RA Criminal Procedure Code which will regulate the peculiarities of pretrial and judicial proceeding during martial law. Currently, this work is in process, but regardless of it, a relevant order on sending operative groups to garrison investigative units of General Military Investigative Department of the RA Investigative Committee in a war situation, during martial law and armed conflicts, as well as on the procedure of organizing the work of these groups and the structure of operative groups has recently been confirmed by me. As they say, we must be ready to resist any temptation.

Despite all these, we have still a lot to do. The investigators of the RA Investigative Committee are quite young and methodological, organizational and procedural everyday work shall be conducted for them to master the investigation tactics and methodology, to provide proper cooperation with operative-intelligence, expertise and other bodies in disclosure of crimes, to respect the rights of parties of trial, to be aware of legislative amendments, to specialize in investigation of certain crimes.

In these conditions of high requirements for investigators we have a lot to do to provide them with technique, to introduce the achievements of science and techniques in organization of preliminary investigation, to save the human and material resources during preliminary investigation and use them purposefully. In order to solve these problems we plan to form a new criminological subdivision.

The RA Investigative Committee has acquired different types of equipment, particularly two softwares for inspection of computer information (of cell phones and computers operating with smart system) through which it will be possible to recover the removed files and information of relevant computer systems. Equipment called blocker necessary for confiscation of computer information will also be acquired until the end of October the application of which will give an opportunity to “freeze” and clone the information available in confiscated objects.    

Bag-containers of different sizes planned for confiscation and transportation of computer systems have been acquired. 

Electronic preliminary investigation. Consistent steps have also been taken in the RA Investigative Committee to introduce the institute of electronic preliminary investigation with modern electronic systems. The unified electronic program of procedural document templates have been worked out and introduced and the electronic library has been formed. Steps to provide the Investigative Committee with necessary logistic conditions are being taken. Since 2014 15 administrative buildings have been renovated.

Respectable Colleagues,

The Investigative Committee attaches importance to the work done with citizens, ensuring transparency of activities, accountability before society, feedback.

The questions related to criminal cases have always been among the issues of public interest and the main means of application of right to search, receive and disseminate information for society are Media. They have a great role in formation of public opinion and public involvement against crime.

We have adopted active information policy guideline and periodically provide information about the activity of the Investigative Committee, inform the society about crime situation, disclosures. About 200 written official releases have been disseminated by our initiative since July 10, interviews have been organized with investigators on several criminal cases, timely comments on issues Mass Media were concerned with have been provided.

Information freedom is one of the important indicators for democratic society, as well as the protection of presumption of innocence, the interest of justice.

Conditioned by peculiarities of issues facing criminal procedure sometimes a number of key human rights guaranteed by Constitution are crossed. Each of them is fixed as an independent principle of criminal procedure the violation of which can endanger the requirement to the investigative body to conduct comprehensive, complete and objective investigation. In case of not legitimate application of the right to receive information the person’s presumption of innocence, secrecy of private life, secrecy of family life can be violated, interest of justice can be endangered.

Hence, while conducting active information policy consistent steps are taken at the same time to ensure the balanced protection of fundamental human rights. I have already instructed to work out a methodical guide.

Citizens’ reception is one of the important conditions to provide awareness, to be heard and to solve the problems as soon as possible. Certain reception days were defined in all regional investigative departments, investigative divisions of Yerevan, in the central office; the reception is implemented by the head of the relevant subdivision, departments’ heads, Chairman of the Investigative Committee. Such approach gave an opportunity to provide citizens with consultative service and support them in hard situations.

In this period the number of application-complaints received from citizens has dramatically increased which refer not only to current cases but also to those taken place formerly. It is known that a significant part of the citizens’ application-complaints refers to servicemen’s death during military service. In this regard, I must mention that the formation of public monitoring group for the mentioned cases is in process and I hope that due to it RA Investigative Committee-public cooperation will be taken to a new dimension which will contribute to discussion and solution of problematic issues.

Mr. Prime Minister,

Within the authorities ascribed by legislation the Investigative Committee will do its best to assist the fight against crime, to strengthen the constitutional and public order, to protect human, public rights and legal interests, as well as to implement other issues resultant from authorities related to maintenance of legality.

Once more I congratulate all of us and taking the opportunity I want to thank deeply the Prime Minister for the trust.

 

 

 

 


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