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Armenian Opposition Lawmaker’s Bribery Allegations ‘Unsubstantiated,’ Officials Say

Opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary faction leader Levon Zurabyan lacked criminal intent in stating that the RA Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutyunyan had bribed the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission for a positive conclusion on the Serzh Sargsyan-initiated constitutional amendments, the Armenian Prosecutor's office said in a statement issued on Thursday, October 22. The lawmaker's actions, as stated by officials, did not involve the subjective aspect of false denunciation, i.e., a direct intent.

In addition, the statement said, the Armenian police did not find any evidence to support that a bribery had occurred; moreover, Zurabyan failed to appear at the police station, did not provide explanation or factual evidence to substantiate his allegations. “[Law enforcement] were thus led to the conclusion that [Zurabyan’s] claims were false, and that there were no instances of offering or giving a bribe to the Venice Commission.” 

Therefore, officials added, prosecutions decided not to initiate criminal proceedings over Zurabyan's “unsubstantiated claims.”