03.03.2020 | Within the framework of the criminal cases of illegal logging in Lori region more people were convicted and more cases were sent to court

According to the results of the Prosecutor's Office of Lori region during 2019, 243 cases of illegal logging were registered in the region, regarding 94 of which criminal cases were initiated. For comparison, we should note that during 2018, 63 criminal cases were initiated, that is, by 31 or 49.2% less.


The quality of the preliminary investigation of criminal cases initiated regarding such  cases was improved. Only during 2019, 38 criminal cases were sent to the court in relation to 40 people investigated under various Parts of Article 296 of the RA Criminal Code, in case when during 2018, 10 criminal cases against 10 people were sent to the court. That is, the number of criminal cases sent to court was increased by 28 or 280%, and the number of people by 30 or 300%.


Moreover, during the reporting period, the number of criminal cases completed in court was also significantly increased. In particular, from the criminal cases investigated in court during the mentioned period, 27 criminal cases with indictment against 29 people were completed, in case when during 2018, 7 criminal cases against 7 people were investigated and completed in court. That is, the growth was about 4 times.


It should be mentioned that during 2019, only by criminal cases that were at the stage of preliminary and judicial investigation under the prosecutor’s supervision or control of the prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s Office of Lori region, damage to nature in the amount of about 322 million AMD was revealed, which exceeds the indicator of 2018 by 12.5%. For one part of not recovered amount, arrests were imposed on the movable, immovable property of the accused, a preliminary investigation regarding  the other part is still in process.


A positive indicator of detection of cases of violations of nature protection is also conditioned by the prosecutorial functions in ensuring the comprehensiveness of investigations. In each criminal case initiated on the facts of illegal logging, prosecutors carrying out procedural lead pay special attention to the possible involvement of officials responsible for forestry in  criminal actions.


For example, the prosecutor implementing the procedural lead by the investigation of materials of 2 criminal cases investigated under Part 3 of Article 296 of the RA Criminal Code found out that, because of the negligent attitude to the service in one case, by the official of Lalvara Forestry of the branch of ArmForest SNCO, in another case, by the official of the branch of Dsegh Forestry, unidentified people carried out large-scale illegal logging, as a result of which greenery was damaged, in the first case in the amount of 5.6 million AMD, in the second - 23 million AMD. Under Part 2 of Article 315 of the RA Criminal Code, criminal cases were initiated, the preliminary investigation is still in process.


The examples given were not the only ones. In general, during the indicated period, within the framework of illegal logging, 6 criminal cases were initiated concerning the facts of corruption abuses, most of which were under Article 315 and Article 308 of the RA Criminal Code. The charges were brought, in particular, against the forester of Pambak forestry of Yeghegnut forestry branch of ArmForest SNCO.


2 criminal cases of corruption nature against 3 people were sent to the court in connection with illegal logging, a preliminary investigation of which is still in progress.


Regarding the forestry officials, the accused file a petition for additional punishments in parallel with the main punishments in the form of deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or be engaged in certain activities.