Less than one month after being appointed as chief of the Armenian police, Valeri Osipian claimed on Monday to have practically eliminated bribery and other corrupt practices among fellow police officers.
“I can announce with confidence that there are now no corrupt elements in the police,” he told reporters. “I can announce with confidence that I have taken concrete steps.”
“I don’t exclude that one or two of my colleagues [may be corrupt] but I can say for sure that corruption does not exist [as a systemic problem.]”
Nikol Pashinian named Osipian to run the national police service on May 10 two days after being elected Armenia’s prime minister following weeks of anti-government protests led by him.
Osipian was until then a deputy head of Yerevan’s police department responsible for public order and crowd control. He has been personally present at just about every major anti-government rally staged in the Armenian capital in the past decade. He frequently warned and argued with Pashinian during the protests which the former opposition leader launched on April 13 in a successful attempt to topple Serzh Sarkisian.
Introducing Osipian to high-ranking police officials on May 11, Pashinian said one of his main tasks will be to crack down on corruption in the police ranks which is believed to have long been endemic. Osipian replaced virtual deputy chiefs of the police in the following days.