Four witnesses were examined in court today in the case of former RA Traffic Police Chief Margar Ohanyan, and also named as the accused, former commander of the 2nd officers’ battalion Stepan Karakhanyan, and traffic police employees Ara Levonyan and Samvel Makhmuryan. Recall, they are accused of embezzling approx. 2,500 tons of gasoline.
The first witness, commander of the 2nd officers’ battalion Arsen Mardonyan, testified that when it was time for monthly reporting, he signed for more gasoline than he actually received and when he raised this matter with former commander Stepan Karakhanyan, the latter promised to supplement the shortage, but never did so (the same comment was made by another witness, Stepan Sedrakyan, in a previous court session).
Vardan Nargizyan, also a commander with the 2nd officers’ battalion but who serves in Lori province, testified that he received 4,500–5,000 liters of gasoline but signed on paper that he received 12,000–14,000 liters. The witness confessed that he was new employee at the time and his deputy conveyed Karakhanyan’s request to sign for more than actually received.
Prosecutor Harutyun Harutyunyan asked the witness whether he had kept Margar Ohanyan abreast of this issue, to which Nargizyan responded in the negative.
Another battalion commander also involved in the case, Aram Galstyan, testified that he received 4,500–5,000 liters of gasoline monthly from Karakhanyan, but on paper this amount was 6,000–12,000 liters. He approached Karakhanyan on the matter who (again) promised to supplement the difference, but this never happened. The witness testified that Karakhanyan said instead of the “more” gasoline, they can take tires. It’s important to note that Galstyan serves in the provinces of Vayots Dzor and Syunik and tires get worn out more frequently in these mountainous regions.
Asked by the prosecutor why he didn’t inform then traffic police chief Margar Ohanyan, the witness confessed that he made a mistake.
The fourth witness, senior inspector with the Traffic Police’s finance division Yeprem Stepanyan, said he was not privy to any abuse associated with receiving gasoline.