Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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Information provision as a demonstration of humanism


Ruzan Minasyan
Former soldier Armen Manoukyan was illegally kept in the police station. The Office of the Public Prosecutor did not consider it necessary to provide Armen Manoukyan with the decision on suspension.

And when the advocate Mrs. Seda Safaryan demanded the decision during the court hearing, case investigator Vardan Militonyan said that the Prosecutor’s Office had provided one of the three volumes of the case reasoning from “humanity”. At that time, someone in the court hall remarked: “When did the Prosecutor’s Office become a humanitarian organization?”. Judge Gayaneh Karakhanyan allowed the claim – the decision on suspension and other case materials will be given to A. Manoukyan. For this reason sitting of the court was postponed.
Every day, hundreds of case investigations are postponed in different courts only because people are deprived of their legal right to familiarize with case materials. Such things happen both on pre-trial and trial stages.
Armen Krmoyan – husband of Susanna Badalyan who died as a result of surgery was acknowledges as the victim’s representative in the criminal case against doctors of “Erebouni” medical center. Armen Krmoyan repeatedly applied to judge of the first instance court of Erebouni-Noubarashen communities Artoush Gabrielyan, requesting permission to familiarize with investigation materials. The Judge had given him the permission, saying “the court does not have proper technical means for that”. On April 12 Krmoyan came to the court with a copying machine.  Armen Krmoyan is not alone. RA citizens hurry to courts with copying machines, computers, papers, which have nothing to do with the judicial reforms programs, but has something to do with the peculiar mendicancy phenomenon.

Advocates of defendants Razmik Sargsyan, Arayik Zalyan and Musa Serobyan also came to the Court of Appeal for criminal and military cases with a computer. The court had been refusing to provide the diskette with the phone conversation records, which could throw light upon many circumstances of the murder case. During the open-door sitting of the court the defense offered money to Judge M. Arghamanyan for using the court computer, which of course arose the anger of the court. However, there were no alternatives up to the moment when the judge finally agreed to allow the defense to bring a computer in order to open the diskette.

Court accessibility is based on information accessibility, which can show whether parties act in equal conditions? Or is the powerful witness provided with case materials and the victim’s representative – with nothing? Parties have the right to access any court decisions concerning the given case, sitting of the court minutes, all the case materials from the moment when preliminary investigation is finished, make copies and request any information from the case. Gagik Sargsyan who had applied to “Aravot” newspaper told that some photographs were missing from his case. And this happens when any proof is attached to the case and enumerated. 
It turns out that sometimes judges also have problems with receiving information. Former judge from Gegharkunik region Mrs. Anahit Saghatelyan had applied to the RA Minister of Justice Mr. David Harutyunyan demanding to provide her with the ministry’s statutes, as well as the minister’s application to the justice council. The minister refused to provide the requested documents. Thus, the former judge applied to the first instance court of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities to receive the information she needed.   

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