Press releases
President congratulates Investigative Committee staff on professional day

09.10.2017

President Serzh Sargsyan attended today a ceremonious event at the Investigative Committee (IC) headquarters on the occasion of Investigative Committee Officer’s Day and the third anniversary of Committee’s establishment. In addition to Investigative Committee Board members, the event was attended by the heads of territorial and structural units of the Committee.

Chairman of Investigative Committee Aghvan Hovsepyan stated the independence of investigators during the pre-trial proceedings, the steps taken to improve the efficiency of investigation, as well as the achievements, problems and challenges.

The President of the Republic of Armenia awarded a group of Investigative Committee staff with high State awards and letters of appreciation for conscientious and productive work, as well as for valuable contribution to the rule of law and legality.

The President congratulated IC employees on their professional holiday and wished them endurance and every success in their extremely responsible and at the same time exciting mission, expressing confidence that the Investigative Committee staff fully realizes the importance and significance of their mission.

“Just a couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to publicly present my understanding of the law enforcement system. In my speech at delivered the Office of Prosecutor-General, I called the law enforcement authorities to raise to a qualitatively new level the protection of the legitimate interests of our citizens, society and the State. I also emphasized that one of the pillars of that system is the General Prosecutor’s Office by virtue of its specific status.

I am convinced that another pillar is the corpus of investigative bodies. Their role in the public system is increasing objectively. It is not accidental that for the first time the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia features specific provisions regarding the functions of investigative bodies.

I believe that the pledge of investigative body’s successful operations is the investigator with the independence of judiciary powers with the complex of liabilities arising out of that status. Self-reliance is a very important guarantee not only for investigators, but also for all those who are affected by investigative proceedings.

When we started our discussions years ago over the establishment of a joint investigative body, we concurred in that one of its goals was to increase investigators’ independence.

I think that by setting up a joint investigative committee, we have succeeded in making an effective step toward the realization of that idea. Moreover, the guaranteed rise in the autonomy of investigators and investigative agencies, in general, is evidenced by the constitutional provision stipulating that investigating bodies should not only carry out pre-trial proceedings, but also organize them.

Of course, that function adds to the burden of responsibility of investigating bodies. This is especially evident in the fight against crime and the rule of law. Certainly, the role of prosecutors and judges is great here. But investigators and their superiors must clearly realize their own responsibility.

Prosecutorial oversight or judicial oversight should not be viewed by investigators as “a ring-buoy,” as a circumstance that reduces responsibility. You are responsible for both the positive and negative results for your actions. The reasons for your success and failure should first of all be sought inside and make relevant conclusions.
Dear Colleagues,

Investigative bodies are the motive force of pre-trial proceedings and the role of the Investigative Committee is one of the priorities here. I am confident that this will happen tomorrow when the State agencies will face correlation transformations. Future expectations from your business will not be less than today.

I urge you to always be impartial, principled and persistent in your ministry. In this case only you can be sure that your judgment is fair because it is aimed at maintaining the legal order in the country. At the same time, please remember that you are supposed to promote the rule of law.

Your responsibilities can not be fulfilled at the expense of unjustified restrictions on human rights and freedoms. The protection of one’s interests at the expense of others’ interests by the State is harmful, and can never be beneficial. Such a phenomenon is one of the main reasons for social injustice.

Of course, the reasons for the injustice in the law enforcement system should not be sought only in investigative bodies. But I can not see at least some of them right here. Unfair investigator is not less harmful than an unfair prosecutor because his shortfalls or omissions can often lead to severe, sometimes even irreversible consequences.

I believe that in order to successfully address this shortcoming you need to simultaneously provide for two interconnected phenomena. First, the collective image of our investigators should be a honest, conscientious and responsible professional who realizes the meaning of his mission.

Second, investigative bodies must be ruthless in fighting corruption and managing it. At the same time, corruption manifestations do not mean just pursuing money gains: acquaintances, friends, and mate’s motions may be worse than when a person has a specific interest. Please take this into consideration.

Combating such phenomena within any system is, first of all, a proof of a healthy system. You can and must honestly evaluate the behavior of an unsuccessful servant, thereby dispelling the possible suspicions in the system. You have all the necessary legislative leverages to do so.

Dear officers of the Investigative Committee,

I have already had the opportunity to state that the law enforcement system should be cohesive and cooperative. Therefore, one of the main problems faced by the Investigative Committee is to be in stable and effective cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.

First of all, I mean the collaboration with the Office of Prosecutor-General. Traditionally, prosecutors have been and remain the primary partners of investigators. I will not be mistaken if I say that the result of the pre-trial proceedings and sometimes the whole criminal case depends on the form and content of this cooperation. Certainly, the effectiveness of cooperation with the Prosecutor's Office does not mean excluding disagreements in the professional plane.

The law gives investigators a number of opportunities to defend their own position. The investigator may even object in writing to prosecutor’s instructions and decisions, and that is good, of course. But it is at least incomprehensible when, for example, the prosecutor’s instructions go simply ignored or not complied with for a long time in a particular criminal case, which is especially unacceptable when done for narrow departmental considerations.

I understand very well that there are cases where prosecutors give instructions that seem to be unnecessary, but believe me, and I am convinced that you know better than me, any detail of a criminal case, even if it is unnecessary should be taken into consideration.

The purpose of proper co-operation between these structures is not just clarification of issues arising in specific cases. It is important, first of all, for the solution of issues that are of fundamental importance to the State and that address joint responsibility in the law enforcement area such as evidence-supported accusation, justification of detention or the rights of detainees and so on.

One of the most important areas of cooperation is the work with the police. It is not a secret that the operational activities carried out by the police may largely facilitate the disclosure of the crime. However, it is up to the investigator to provide the preconditions for that.

We are now following this path, but we must finally break the mindset that the disclosure of a crime is first and foremost up to the police. Only when we do so, I will consider that our investigative bodies and the unified investigative agency have been completely established. This does not mean that I am simply trying to underestimate the operational activities of intelligence agencies or ignore their share of responsibility. The faster and more accurate the investigator’s assignments are, the more efficient and accurate the operative intelligence measures will be.

One of the main targets of active cooperation with the police is the identification of wanted persons, which still remains a serious problem in the fight against crime. I especially want to focus your attention on this issue in both ways. First, in some cases an attempt is made to consider the crime revealed when we have discovered one of the criminals and we forget about the others.

I can bring dozens of such examples, understanding the fact that the Chairman of the Investigative Committee said in terms of summing up the indicators. And the other, in many cases, we simply forget that yes, it is known who has committed the crime, but the criminal has been in the republic for many years and is not out of the country.

I would like to ask you to deal with this issue honestly because you can better tell me that the best way to prevent any crime is the discovery, in general.

Dear Colleagues,

Of course, there are many things to do in the law enforcement sphere. The recent months’ scandalous cases in different regions, as well as the incidents that happened downtown the capital testify about it.

There is no doubt that these cases should be investigated thoroughly and impartially in order to clarify all details and circumstances, detect and blame the perpetrators. Finally, the legal status of the country is determined not only by the number of crimes, but also by the ability of the competent authorities to identify them.

The public should be sure that any manifestation of unlawfulness and disorder in Armenia will be quickly discovered and inevitably punished by the law.

Summing up, I must say that three years have only passed since the establishment of the Investigative Committee. We can already state that we have a successful joint investigation body. This body is capable of dealing with any problem.

I want to be confident that the achievements of this structure will be visible tomorrow in the conditions of a new form of public administration.

That is why the Committee needs to be constantly replenished with qualified staff. Senior generation investigators should encourage young people to progress, and newcomers should be cautious about the best traditions of years. Good work should always be evaluated, highly qualified professionals should be encouraged.

The State is ready to assist the investigators to work more efficiently and effectively. I think the Committee’s building conditions and technical capabilities, which are being improved year by year, will be an asset and will prompt you not to be satisfied with the present achievements, especially as 2018 will be marked by the solution of a most important welfare problem. The details will be given by the Head of the Investigative Committee.

Reiterating my congratulations on the Day of Investigative Committee Officer, I wish you all good service, and your families - peace, love and cohesion,” the President of Armenia said.

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