19.07.2019 | Clarifications on the publication of individual media on the purposes and legality of investigative actions in the office of a judge and the procedural decisions taken by the prosecutor's office in a criminal case

Violating the restrictions on the publication of preliminary investigation data, there was a deliberate and selective distortion of information on the part of individual media. An assessment was made regarding the conduct of investigative actions in the office of Judge David Grigoryan, their goals and legality, as well as decisions taken by the prosecutor's office in the framework of this criminal case that has nothing to do with reality and even imaginary estimates. Considering unacceptable further speculation by such a manipulative method, we are compelled to come up with explanations on certain issues, in particular.


  1. Lack of public information and restraint regarding the case under investigation  has to this day been due solely to the legislation of Armenia, namely, the need to strictly adhere to guarantees to ensure the reputation and independence of judges, which is not subject to criminal prosecution.


According to the law, investigative measures against a judge who is not subject to criminal prosecution require strict confidentiality.


  1. The citizen filed a report on the verification of information on the commission of an obvious official forgery, in a criminal case not a year ago, as alleged by a number of media outlets, but in February 2019.


The latter reported that during the investigation of the materials submitted to the court on the decisions of the criminal prosecution authorities, it turned out that they were accompanied by a notice of summoning him for consideration of the complaint, whereas such notice was not sent, thus creating the illusion that notifications were sent to the parties, but as a result of their absence, the court session did not take place, and the records of the court session and the recording media showed that on this day there was no court hearing. On February 18, 2019, investigators of the Special Investigation Service decided to refuse to initiate a criminal case, stating that the judge had not sent the notice to the plaintiffs because of his workload and this cannot be characterized as a crime under certain paragraphs of art. 314 of the Criminal Code on official misconduct.


On March 12, 2019, the complaint of the citizen of the Republic of Armenia regarding this decision was also rejected, which was due to the fact that the collected data are not enough to initiate а criminal case. However, these decisions of the investigator and the prosecutor in May of this year were appealed to the RA Prosecutor General, where the citizen  gave more weighty facts concerning non-notice of a court hearing, as many media present, but the forgery of the court record, which correspond to the objective features of the official forgery. The decision of the RA Prosecutor General to satisfy the complaint and initiate a criminal case was due to the exceptional need for a full, objective and comprehensive investigation of this fact, which also indicates that the General Prosecutor’s Office resumed the investigation not on its own initiative, as the media are trying to present, but on the basis of a citizen’s complaint.


Investigative measures were taken in the office of Judge David Grigorian not because the latter decided to release the second President of Armenia, Robert Kocharian, from detention, according to media reports, but because of the decision to revise the materials presented back in February of this year. The motives for the connectedness of these two cases are also far from reality for the simple reason that at the time of the adoption of this decision, even on June 28, 2019 Grigorian’s verdict has already been annulled by the Court of Appeal.


And searches in the office of the judge and the confiscation of property pursued only one legitimate aim - to obtain factual data confirming or disproving the fact of committing an official forgery.


Investigative measures in the office were carried out within the framework of the law and on the basis of art. 52 of the RA Criminal Code.


We urge to refrain from publishing segmented investigation materials, thereby trying to distort the facts, and not to use the fact that the preliminary investigation body and the prosecutor's office provide limited information about the investigative actions carried out in the criminal case, based on the principle not to damage the judge’s reputation, since in the above case the interests of justice, the judge’s reputation and guarantees of independence are more important values ​​than ensuring freedom of information.