A senior Armenia prosecutor has been charged with large-scale bribery and suspended as a result, it was announced on Monday.
Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General said the official, identified by his L. K. initials, demanded last month and subsequently received a “large bribe” for pledging to ensure that a man serving a 10-year prison sentence is released from jail on parole. The bribe was paid by a person close to the convict in several installments, it said in a statement.
The statement added that investigators have asked to remand the prosecutor in custody on charges carrying between four and ten years’ imprisonment.It did not say whether he will plead guilty to the accusations.
The statement also said that the alleged bribery was exposed by the National Security Service (NSS). It was not clear whether the suspect was caught red-handed.
Corruption among Armenian law-enforcement officials and prosecutors in particular has long been a serious problem. According to the statement, Prosecutor-General Artur Davtian has repeatedly warned his subordinates against engaging in corrupt practices, saying that they would receive tougher punishment than other citizens accused of such crimes.
The NSS has been behind most of the high-profile corruption investigations conducted in Armenia after last year’s “Velvet Revolution.” The former Armenian branch of the Soviet KGB said on Monday that since May 2018 it has recovered 22.6 billion drams ($47 million) worth of financial “damage” inflicted on the state as a result corruption and other crimes.