20.03.2020 | Unauthorized buildings were built on forest lands of state ownership of Lori region. Criminal case was initiated

Publication of 16.09.2019 on the website “Hetq.am” entitled “Concrete buildings and territories covered with barbed wires, who rents forests of Lori region and what’s the purpose”, which turned out to be in the spotlight as a result of mass media monitoring carried out by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Armenia was sent to the Prosecutor’s Office of Lori Region with a view to study the circumstances indicated in it.


By the instruction of the Prosecutor’s Office of the region, on the basis of  publication in Stepanavan Division of the Department of Lori region of the RA Police, materials were prepared, during which it was found out that during 2010-2018 between “Hayantar” SNCO and physical or legal entities were concluded rental agreements for forest lands. According to these agreements, certain state-owned parts of forest lands (located on the territory of the Gulagarak forestry branch of Stepanavan forestry  of Hayantar SNCO) were given for rent.


During the preparation of the materials Stepanavan Forestry of Hayantar SNCO reported that the tenants of these territories made payments in a proper manner, therefore there were no complaints.


On the basis of the above mentioned, due to the lack of corpus delicti on 09.10.2019 in Stepanavan Division of the Department of Lori region of the RA Police, a decision was made to refuse to initiate criminal case.


The above mentioned materials were requested and studied in the Department for Combating Corruption Cases of the RA Prosecutor General's Office. It was found out that, on the basis of prepared materials, only the acts of people renting forest lands were assessed. Meanwhile, as under the stipulated rental agreements between SNCO “Hayantar” and citizens or a legal entity in violation of the procedure established by the legislation in the field of urban development and provisions that impede capital construction, tenants arbitrarily built the main constructions on these land plots in 2013 and 2017.


And despite the fact that factual data were obtained regarding the elements of crimes in the acts of competent bodies within the framework of investigation they were not considered, no legal assessment was given to the acts of officials in connection with the fulfillment of obligations to detect, register and prevent violations committed by tenants.


On the basis of this, the Prosecutor of Lori region gave a written instruction to prepare materials in order to give legal assessments to the acts of the relevant competent people. As a result of the alleged abuse of their powers by the competent officials of “Hayantar” SNCO in Stepanavan Division of the Department of Lori region of the RA Police under Part 1 of Art. 308 of the RA Criminal Code, a criminal case was initiated and the preliminary investigation of the case is carried out by Stepanavan Division of the Investigative Department of Lori region of the RA IC.


Notice: Every person suspected in or charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent unless proved guilty in the manner prescribed by the RA Criminal Procedure Code and unless the verdict comes into legal force.