Armenian government considers introducing confiscation of illegally acquired property without court verdict
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 13, ARMENPRESS. The Government of Armenia is considering a mechanism for confiscating illicitly stolen assets without a court’s guilty verdict, PM Nikol Pashinyan said in parliament in response to MP Sophia Hovsepyan’s question.
“There is a question regarding the return of money that was stolen from the country and the pople, and now the government is discussing a mechanism for confiscating property without a [court’s] guilty verdict. This naming can seem unusual, but we have a justification that in the stances of the European Court of Human Rights this is found to be a normal practice in combating corruption, meaning this isn’t considered to be restriction of human rights,” the PM said.
According to Pashinyan, this mechanism is a part of transitional justice.
“In this case the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply, to put it bluntly it is the presumption of guilt that applies here. If a person fails to prove that the given property has been acquired legally then the acquisition is considered illegal,” Pashinyan said.
Pashinyan added that certain resistance against this issue is emerging within the public administration system, but the PM says the mechanism will be introduced.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan