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The Armenian authorities who claim to “fight corruption in the judicial system”, continue to patronize judges loyal to them, refusing to disclose the sources of their income, Pastinfo reports.

In particular, judge Ashot Hovhannisyan of the Yerevan Civil Court of General Jurisdiction disclosed a large sum of money in his declarations for 2021 and 2022.  According to the annual declaration for 2022, the judge’s income amounted to some 26 million drams. In addition, he had 685,000 drams in his bank accounts and cash of $106,000, 21 million drams and 16,000 euros. The judge declared almost the same sum for 2021 – 100,000 dollars, 20 million 300 thousand drams and 15,000 euros. The 2021 declaration revealed that the money available in his bank accounts amounted to 187,000 drams and $4,000. The data was published by Hetq after studying the declarations.

“It’s worth noting that before becoming a judge, Ashot Hovhannisyan had served as an assistant judge for many years and had worked briefly as a legal adviser at a local bank. It begs the question how the judge managed to accumulate such vast wealth while holding those posts? It should be noted that the judge’s wife is not an entrepreneur either, she is an employee of traffic police. At the same time, she has also declared a large amount of cash, particularly 17 million drams and 60 thousand dollars,” the reported said.

Pastinfo reached out to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to clarify whether the state body has revealed the source of his cash assets.

“During his appointment, the judge passed the integrity check, and the declaration discloses the origin of all his property. We have nothing else to add,” the SJC said. However, the declaration provides no data on the origin of his cash assets.

Pastinfo has also asked the Corruption Prevention Commission for a comment on the matter and will publish the response after getting it.

Incidentally, Ashot Hovhannisyan is one of those judges who issue rulings in cases of interest to the government to please the authorities. For example, he rejected a lawsuit filed by the owner of 12.5% shares of the Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC) to conduct an audit of the company.