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Two Judges Stripped of Powers and Brought to Criminal Accountability

The Higher Court Council has suspended the powers of judges Ara Kubanyan and Gevorg Narinyan until the end of criminal proceedings against them. 

The Higher Court Council has accepted the motion of the National Security Service of Armenia to open a criminal investigation against judges Narinyan and Kubanyan and apprehend them.

Judge Gevorg Narinyan was apprehended on June 20, while the motion to apprehend Ara Kubanyan was rejected by the court.

Judges Narinyan and Kubanyan who normally hear bankruptcy cases are charged for abusing their powers, accomplice in power abuse, official forgery, illegal enrichment, concealment of data subject to public declaration, legalization of large assets of criminal origin. In addition to these, the National Security Service also stated that as a result of their above-stated acts, a citizen who was recognized as an applicant in the court case they were hearing, found their actions of abuse unjust and intolerable, as a result of which he was deprived of his property. In an act of protest, he attempted self-immolation in front of the government in 2019. 

The investigation started with unjustified purchases in an amount incompatible with the declared income of the judge. The judge, then attempted to legalize the illegal income. 

One of the judges, used his friendly relations with the other judge and a bankruptcy manager who is dependent on their actions. The judge informed his fellow that in a civil suit over S.A., a sole proprietor, S.A. was recognized bankrupt and his and his family members’ real estate was put on sale. The real estate was an apartment in downtown Yerevan. The judge convinced the bankruptcy manager to intervene in the auction of the said property. As a result, the bankruptcy manager abused their own powers, and released a statement that the said property was bought by co-owners, misleading potential buyers. The auction did not take place and the price of the property was artificially reduced from 26.4mln AMD to around 12 mln. 

The fellow judge, aware that the bankruptcy manager was artificially creating obstacles for the normal proceedings of the bankruptcy process in order to favor his fellow judge, took no action to stop this criminal act. 

The auction for the given property took place at the significantly reduced prices in which the winner was the judge’s nephew, who was provided information and money in order to engage in the transaction. In this manner, the judge was able to place the illegally obtained 12mln AMD into civilian turnover, concealed its true origin and did not declare it. 

The illegal actions of one of the judges continued in relation to the forced eviction of the old owners of the property. 

Not only were the official powers abused, but also other persons’ rights were abused, including the person recognized bankrupt and the co-owners of his property. They were stripped of their property of a significant value in an illegal manner, which was later legalized.

There are also evidences, that the said judges obtained around 100.000 USD between 2017 and 2020, which significantly exceeded their legal incomes and their origin was not justified. They were illegally enriched.  In order to conceal this, one of the judges signed a fictitious credit contract by lending this amount to a close person. 

The criminal investigation in over 8 counts of charges against both judges is ongoing. Both Narinyan and Kubanyan deny the charges.