Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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A1+. "Hierarchical corruption is difficult to identify"


 "It is too difficult to fight against corruption. It is nearly impossible to reveal corruption in hierarchical structures," Armen Ashrafyan, head of the anti-corruption and organized crime department at the General Prosecutor's Office said during a workshop in Tsaghkadzor.

During the event dedicated to freedom of expression and information in relation to criminal proceedings Ashrafyan enumerated cases when the "thread" to identify corruption was lost after "getting hold of" the department head. Cases of high-level corruption are difficult to detect, as ordinary people do not personally give bribes to high-ranking officials. Involvement of highest leadership in turn causes permissiveness towards corruption.

"Surely, it will be more efficient to disclose and punish a couple of ministers, deputy ministers than some thirty minor officials for taking a few thousand drams to give a certificate," said Armen Ashrafyan.
When a man comes to us to report on official bribery, the whole village mocks of him and calls him a "stool pigeon." We even had a case when the wife divorced her husband after he reported on bribetaking. Corruption-related crimes become too difficult to disclose in such cases.

During the workshop organized by the Freedom of Information Center inspectors and police officers stressed the importance of freedom of information though they observed certain legislative drawbacks.

By` A1+


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