«Ապօրինի ծագում ունեցող գույքի բռնագանձման» գործերով վարչության մեկամյա գործունեությունը

5 Vazgen Sargsyan street 0010 Yerevan Republic of Armenia

Tel: +374 (10) 511-650



Responsible for ensuring freedom of information

The RA Prosecutor’s Office Division of Public Relations, head of the Division – Arevik Khachatryan

26.06.2020 | Prosecutor's Office proposes to tighten penalties for crimes in the field of illegal subsoil use

As a result of the analysis of the prosecutor's office, it was found out that in the criminal-legal fight against illegal subsoil use due to the failure to implemet some legal regulations, some objective problems appeared.


In particular, Part 1 and Part 2 of Art. 291 of the RA Criminal Code ( breach of rules for protection and subsoil use) are considered not very grave crimes. Under the conditions of the sanctions provided for by this article, the statute of limitations for exemption from criminal liability is 2 years. However, investigations by criminal cases usually last quite a long time, because on the basis of the requirement of a comprehensive, complete and objective study of the circumstances of the case, it becomes necessary to carry out numerous investigative and other procedural actions, in order to establish other circumstances relevant to the case, to initiate various often even complex-commission expertise, and the implementation of which requires a lot of time. For example, only a forensic-construction expertise can last 7-8 months, even up to 1 year. And without these expert conclusions, it is often impossible to determine the nature of the violation of established rules, find out the circle of accused people.


In addition to the fact that ongoing investigations are delayed due to the mentioned reasons, in the case of criminal cases with an indictment being sent to court, based on the workload of the courts, trial can last 2 years and, moreover, may lead to the expiration of the statute of limitations for criminal liability.


And there are cases when even with due diligence of the body conducting the proceedings, it becomes impossible to convict the accused and to punish them.


In addition to the foregoing, the sanctions of Art. 291 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia is also problematic in the sense that, within the limits of criminal liability for rendering guilty verdict regarding the person, the provided penalties are milder and do not correspond to the public danger of these crimes. In particular, imprisonment under the sanction of Part 1 of Art. 291 of the RA Criminal Code as a form of punishment is not provided at all, and in the case of Part 2, despite the fact that it is provided, however, the maximum term is only 1 year. Considering that by these criminal acts damage is inflicted to the environment, as a result, indirectly threatening the health of the population, such punishments do not correspond to the nature of this crime.


Especially taking into account the growing trend of criminal cases investigated under this article, the extent of the caused damage, found out by the investigation, the need arose to tighten penalties in this matter, which also has preventive value.


Based on this, by a letter of the RA Prosecutor General, to the RA Minister of Justice was presented a bill introducing amendments and supplements to the RA Criminal Code with a view to present to the Government for discussion.


With this initiative, the RA Prosecutor's Office proposed in the sanction of Part 1 of Art. 291 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia, as a form of punishment, establish deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding 3 years by establishing as a mandatory additional type of crime deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or be engaged in certain activities for a term not exceeding 3 years.


As a result of these changes, the task of implementing the statute of limitations for criminal liability, that is, the principles of ensuring the inevitability of responsibility and social justice, will also be automatically solved.