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Armenian Authorities Press Charges Against Officer to Avoid Paying Him Compensation, Lawyer Claims

The criminal case against Nagorno-Karabakh army officer Yervand Khachatryan, who was wounded in a mine explosion in 2017, is entirely fabricated, his lawyer Norayr Norikyan said in a conversation with Epress.am, insisting that the Defense Ministry is thus trying to avoid paying the 49-year-old officer compensation for an injury sustained in fighting positions.

Following the incident, law enforcement authorities launched a criminal case against Khahctryan under article 365.2 of Armenia’s criminal code – violation of combat duty regulations as a result of negligence or bad faith; the act envisages imprisonment for up to 7 years.

Norikyan, nonetheless, told Epress.am that his client does not accept responsibility for the crime charged; the lawyer added that according to the law on the Military Insurance Fund, the state is obliged to pay Khachatryan compensation in the amount of nearly 58 million drams (more than $ 120,330).

“The criminal prosecution against Khachatryan is completely unreasonable; its main purpose is to avoid paying Khachatryan his due compensation. The incident occurred in a foggy morning; my client wanted to move from one combat position to another in order to check the security of strongpoints. On the way, he heard footsteps coming from enemy posts and moved up a few meters. That’s when the explosion occurred. The conscript accompanying him received minor injuries.

“The law clearly states that servicemen should be paid compensation if they are injured during combat duty, participation in hostilities on the line of contact with the enemy, or in the execution of special tasks. In this case, considering that Yervand Khachatryan received served bodily injury as a result of the mine explosion and was recognized by a relevant committee as an invalid of the second group, he is entitled to compensation,” the lawyer stressed.

Lawyer Norikyan added that he intends to appeal to the Minister of Defense with a motion to recognize Khachatryan as a beneficiary of the Military Insurance Fund, in accordance with the procedure established by law.