Illicit Enrichment will be criminalized in Armenia

The regular meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council was held today, chaired by the Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the political parties, international organizations and the civil society.

President of the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO Karen Zadoyan spoke on the first issue of the agenda and presented the findings of the joint working group RA Government – Civil Society Organizations on the study on expediency of criminalization of illicit enrichment and the recommendations elaborated based on these findings. The rapporteur said that the analysis was based on the study of the international and national legal instruments of more than two dozen countries, and in particular focusing on the following questions: interpreted and application of Article 20 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in foreign countries; criminalization of illicit enrichment in foreign countries; the institutional measures applied; the sanctions foreseen; and what solutions can be applied in our legislation, including the measures aimed at improvement of the provision on corpus delicti of illicit enrichment in the new Draft Criminal Code.

Referring to the issue the Prime Minister said, “Stressing the importance of this issue, I want to remind our partners, that the government has included it the 2015-2018 Anti-Corruption Strategy and I propose to assign the Minister of Justice to develop a legislative package in the period of two months in cooperation with our partners from the civil society sector and all the interested stakeholders, discuss, prepare and send it to the National Assembly.”

The meeting discussed other issues as well, among them the recommendations on the institute of restrictions of the cash transactions of the high ranking officials and their affiliates; the shortcomings in declaration of property and assets of high ranking officials; the need to review the methodology of assessment of annual reports and monitoring of the republican executive agencies; and the issue of establishment of the Expert Committee in the framework of the Agreement “Support for implementation of Armenia’s anti-corruption strategy” signed between the RA Government and USAID on 5 February 2016. It was reported that 9 candidates had applied, of which 6 citizens of the RA and 3 foreign citizens. The next step shall be selection of two candidates from the foreigners. The Council approved the draft contracts to be signed with the selected international experts.