YPC Weekly Newsletter

2014

June 2-8

JOURNALIST ACCUSES INVESTIGATOR OF WITNESSES TAMPERING

On June 4, Ani Gevorgian, correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” newspaper, addressed Vahram Shaghinian, the chief of the Special Investigation Service of Armenia, with a request to hold liable an investigator for the criminal case with regard to impeding her professional activities by the law enforcement bodies.

As we have reported, on February 12, Ani Gevorgian and Sargis Gevorgian, cameraman of iLur.am, were covering a public campaign of the Armenian National Congress in downtown Yerevan. The journalists were arrested and taken to police station where they were held for about four hours. Police officers seized journalists’ cameras and mistreated them. In particular, the head of Kentron Police Department of Yerevan slapped Ani Gevorgian on the face. The journalist turned to Special Investigation Service (SIS) to report the crime. The statement reported three episodes: the attempt by policeman Vardan Gevorgian to forcibly take away the camera from Ani Gevorgian during the public action; the seizure of the memory card from her video camera at the police department; the actions of Artak Poghosian, the head of the Kentron Police Department, who had slapped the journalist on face and seized her phone. On February 25, SIS instigated criminal proceedings under Clause 2 of Article 164 (“Impending the legitimate professional activities of a journalist by an abuse of power on part of a state official”) and by Clause 2 of Article 309 (“Abuse of power, accompanied by violence, use of weapons or special means”) of the RA Criminal Code.

In an interview to Aravot.am Ani Gevorgian noted that during a face-to-face interrogation with the head of Kentron Police Department Artak Poghosian, investigator Arshaluys Minasian while transcribing Artak Poghosian’s answer to the journalist’s question “deliberately distorted the response ”, “resulting in a completely different meaning of the testimony”. This was revealed when the investigator read out the minutes of interrogation at the journalist’s request. This time Artak Poghosian had to write down his own response to the question of the journalist, however he did not put it as he originally said but the way it was written in the minutes of the investigator. According to Ani Gevorgian, investigator’s actions are “an obvious falsification” and he in fact hinted Artak Poghosian how to answer the question. The journalist reported all these in her complaint addressed to the chief of SIS.

Ani Gevorgian also told Aravot.am that she will not disclose the content of the face-to-face interrogation, given the obligation to keep the confidentiality of the investigation.

Earlier, the correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” complained about investigation of the case, which, according to the journalist, can be solved in a few days, as all the necessary evidence are at the disposal of the investigators. Meanwhile, almost four months have already passed…