The case of Zibiliks: 11 people were fined

The judge of Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction, Tatevik Grigoryan, today announced the verdict on the case, known as Zibiliks.

The former head of the Utility Board of Yerevan Municipality, former head of Arabkir district, and the RPA member Hrayr Antonyan was found guilty in the case of bribing people into in order they should vote for the RPA in the pre-election stage of the Yerevan Council of Elder's elections on May 14, 2017. He was sentenced to a fine of 2 million 500 thousand AMD.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor Hayk Petrosyan had petitioned to sentence Hrayr Antonyan to three years’ inprisonment. The prosecutor requested the same punishment also for Stepan Sahakyan, the director of SAS supermarket chain. He was also sentenced to a fine of 2 million 500 thousand AMD.

The Helsinki Association has carried out monitoring since the very beginning of the case. The defense lawyer of Stepan Sahakyan, Manvel Alexanyan made a speech of defense during the previous court hearing. He particularly mentioned the following, “We have come and have collaborated, and expected that today the respected prosecutor would not offer against the sentence having no relation to custody. From now, shall I confide in the Prosecutor General's Office? Of course, I won’t. What did my client do? He just did something that had been encouraged before the elections in September. It had been encouraged by the ruling system, by the Republican Party. If they hadn’t done that, they would have been deprived of their jobs,” said Manvel Alexanyan.

Other members in the case, Armen Azoyan, Yervand Beglaryan, Hovhannes Galstyan, Minas Shahinyan, Alexan Khachatryan, Taron Sargsyan, Seyran Hakobyan and Ashot Gevorgyan, were sentenced to a fine of 2 million 300 thousand AMD, each. Meanwhile, the prosecutor had filed a motion to request that they be fined 2 million 500 thousand AMD. Heghine Pograryan was also sentenced to a fine of 2 million 250 thousand AMD, though the prosecutor had filed a motion for a trial period of three years.

Let us remind that the case of Zibiliks had been quashed on the grounds of absence of the elements of a crime. It was reopened only after the Velvet Revolution. On the last day of the election campaign of the Yerevan Council of Elders on May 14, 2017, the “Yelk” alliance submitted a report on crime to law enforcers, attaching to it scandalous documents found in the garbage bins placed at Republican Taron Margaryan’s campaign headquarters. Those documents testified that giving of the bribes by the Republican Party had a systematic and centralized character.

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