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Data Obtained on Corruption Manifestations during Privatization of Lands of Hrazdan Forest Fund; Criminal Case Initiated

22.01.2019 16:38

A criminal case was initiated in General Department of Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the RA Investigative Committee on abusing official position by officials during privatization of land area of over 50 ha from forest fund lands.

On September 28, 2018 a publication entitled “Officials Privatized Forest of 60 ha in Tsaghkadzor” was published in “Hetq” informative site and in the result of verifying circumstances mentioned in the publication data were obtained on apparent corruption manifestations. Particularly, during preparation of materials it was found out that according to the Part 2 of the Government’s decision N 422-Ն of April 5, 2007 36.48 ha out of 50.48 ha land area of forest fund lands which were the state property within the area of administrative district of Hrazdan community of Kotayk province was relocated to the category of residential areas for various construction and was given to the community for free ownership right and 14.0 ha - to the category of specially protected areas for organization of leisure. Whereas, according to the Article 4 of RA Forest Code state forests and forest lands are not subject to alienation, including alienation to communities. Besides, the mentioned change of land category was also impermissible as according to the Part 6 of the Article 10 of RA Land Code areas of residential, public and general use and construction formed in such a combination that none of them is of higher priority are called the various construction lands. According to the Part 1 of the Article 22 of the same Code lands foreseen and used for organization of leisure of the population, tourism, physical training and sport activities are considered the lands foreseen for leisure purposes, so the forest fund lands are not such.

Pursuant to initial data, on December 4, 2006 the forested lands of forest fund located within the administrative district of Hrazdan community of the RA Kotayk province were presented as non-forested by Kotayk governor through a writ addressed to the Minister of Territorial Administration and was offered to change their category attaching the temporary schemes of using lands made according to the order defined by the RA Government's decision N 30 of January 17, 2001 in which the data on agreement of interested parties in the order defined by the mentioned decision missed. The offer without the mentioned agreements submitted by the governor was sent from the Ministry of Territorial Administration to the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre adjunct to the RA Government where a draft of government's decision was drawn which was included in the RA Government's session agenda of April 5, 2017 as an additional issue under number 47 and was adopted. As a result, by breach of legislation requirements the purpose of the land area of 50.48 ha of forest fund of Hrazdan community changed – 36.48 ha – to residential category of lands for various construction and 14.0 ha – to the category of specially protected areas for organization of leisure and was given to Hrazdan community for free ownership right which, in its turn, was separated into several parts and sold to several citizens through public auctions. Later on October 6, 2009 the mentioned land areas were joint to Tsaghkadzor community by the RA Law on Amendments in the Law of the Republic of Armenia «On Administrative Division of the Republic of Armenia».

During preparation of materials sufficient factual data were obtained on the allegation that during the adoption of RA Government's decision N 422-Ն of April 5, 2007 a number of officials – the former governor of Kotayk province, Head of Land Management Division of Municipality, former Minister of Territorial Administration, former director of «Hayantar» SNCO, former Head of the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre adjunct to the RA Government and heads of other administrations, out of group interests, abused their official position against service interests or did not perform their service duties which negligently caused grave consequences. Thus a criminal case was initiated in General Department of Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the RA Investigative Committee according to the Part 2 of the Article 308 of RA Criminal Code.

At the same time a decision was made to send the criminal case to the RA Special Investigatory Service, according to investigatory subordination.

Note; Everyone charged with alleged crime offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. 

 


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