UPDATED: Unconfirmed: Armenia re-opens Panama Papers criminal investigation into former powerful politician Mihran Poghosyan
YEREVAN, JANUARY 24, ARMENPRESS. According to a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, former Armenian lawmaker and former Chief Compulsory Officer of Judicial Acts (chief bailiff), is again under criminal investigation by Armenian authorities regarding his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal.
According to the ICIJ report, the investigation was renewed months after the new government took office.
“Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) is investigating Mihran Poghosyan, 42, over his interests in three offshore companies, according to correspondence seen by ICIJ,” the report says.
In his capacity of Chief Compulsory Officer of Judicial Acts, Poghosyan, a Justice Major General, was overseeing the enforcement of court rulings in Armenia. As a lawmaker, he was serving in parliament within the former ruling party, the Republican Party (HHK).
The initial criminal case was dropped by the Special Investigative Service in 2017.
“The SIS re-opened the investigation in 2018 following the Republican Party’s collapse after weeks of nonviolent protests known as the “Velvet Revolution””, according to the ICIJ.
Poghosyan resigned as Chief Compulsory Officer of Judicial Acts in 2016 when the Panama Papers reports including his name emerged. He nevertheless continued denying wrongdoing.
16:44 Authorities confirm the renewal of the probe.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan