Having been a victim of a labor rights violation, former tax inspector Robert Nikoghosyan filed and won a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights against Armenia’s State Revenue Committee. Nikoghosyan has since received monetary compensation for his unfair dismissal, but he still continues his fight to personally bring former Head of the State Revenue Committee Gagik Khachatryan to justice.
In an interview for Epress.am, Nikoghosyan told that despite the fact that following the European Court ruling Armenia began paying him for the illegal dismissal from work – around $16,500 including compensation for moral damages – he, as a concerned citizen, is worried by the fact that this money is being paid from Armenia’s state budget and not from Gagik Khachatryan’s pocket.
“I was fired from work by Gagik Khachatryan’s unlawful decision, so why should taxpayers have to pay for this injustice? The state has suffered damages, and now it should claim this money back from Khachatryan,” Nikoghosyan argues.
After Nikoghosyan filed an appeal with the office of the Prosecutor General of Armenia, proceedings were launched and the Finance Ministry appealed to the State Revenue Committee to conduct an official investigation and identify those who had possibly committed the violations. The proceedings, however, were terminated in a few months, since the investigation had “failed to find guilty parties.”
The results of the investigation, according to Nikoghosyan, are kept secret: “When an ordinary taxpayer fails to fulfill his/her obligations, all pro-government media immediately write that the state has suffered damage as a result of this person’s actions. Then why aren’t you doing anything about this or publishing the investigation results?”
The former tax inspector is convinced that the offender in his case is quite obviously Gagik Khachatryan; however, the man continues, Armenia’s law enforcement agencies dare not initiate a criminal case against the “all-powerful Khachatryan.” What’s more, Nikoghosyan insists that his dismissal was due to Khachatryan’s intention to replace him with some top official’s relative or friend.
Video in Armenian: