Armenia has confirmed that her nationals arrested in the United States last week on charges stemming from a large-scale medical insurance fraud will be tried overseas and by American law.
Officials in Yerevan do not yet reveal how many of about three dozen arrested members of an Armenian American syndicate charged with filing some $100 million in fake claims to a U.S. government health insurance program, known as Medicare, are citizens of Armenia.
In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Tuesday Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian only said that “based on the available evidence they [Armenian citizens] do not constitute a large percentage.”
“Every person is tried in the country where he or she has committed a crime,” added Danielian.
He explained that Armenia could have got the functions of prosecuting the members of the criminal group who are citizens of Armenia, had they been arrested in Armenia.
“Were these persons in the Republic of Armenia, we would not be obliged to extradite them. We would request the files concerning them and conduct a probe,” the minister added.
The Office of the Armenian Prosecutor-General recently expressed its readiness to assist in the investigation of the case.
It says in the case in question Armenia can only assist in the investigation, if necessary, by means of investigative measures in the territory of Armenia, by sending specialists to the United States or in some other form.
“We have not received any request for legal assistance yet,” Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Tuesday.