Legal Assessment on the Judicial Case about Gnel Hayrapetyan’s Property
Today Media Center held a press conference regarding the lawsuit of RA citizen Gnel Hayrapetyan's property, in which Gnel Hayrapetyan's Advocate Vardan Arakelyan also participated.

Back in 2007, Gnel Hayrapetyan applied to Tzaghkadzor municipality and received permission to be engaged in outdoor trade activities there. On September 9, 2011, Tsaghkadzor Council of the Elders decided to sell some lands, belonging to the municipality, by auction. A plot of land was bought by Gnel Hayrapetyan by auction. Due to the decision of Mayor, 0.27 hectares of land was alienated to Gnel Hayrapetyan, used for public construction for 12,825,540 AMD. A sale and purchase agreement was signed, state registration of property rights was conducted.

Gnel Hayrapetyan said that after buying the plot of land a catering facility was built there, which operated until 2013.

“I built gas, electricity, sewerage there and started acting until 2013. After that, I gave the territory on hire to a very close friend of mine, Onik Baghdasaryan for 2 years. There was a verbal agreement with each other. The term was expiring, and I asked for my payment. He owed much money to me (50 thousand dollars). Instead of paying, he decided it was better to settle other issues, to take away my property from me and not to pay my debts," Hayrapetyan said.

In April, 2015, Onik Baghdasaryan appealed to the Administrative Court of Tsakhkadzor against Tsaghkadzor municipality and State Cadastre Committee demanding to invalidate the state registration of ownership of 2700 square meters (0.27 hectares) land with the address M. Mkrtchyan 39. Tsaghkadzor. As a consequence, O. Baghdasaryan demanded that all administrative acts adopted on the same plot and the decision of the Mayor of Tsakhkadzor to sell the land to Gnel Hayrapetyan and the purchase agreement concluded on the basis consider invalid. The argumentation is that the buildings built on the land were built by him, and therefore the priority should be given for him. Gnel Hayrapetyan was involved in the trial as a third party.

"Onik Baghdasaryan argues that he had not been aware of the auction, but the auction announcement was on the newspapers and I do not think the mayor should have gone home by home and warn that an announcement would be made. And Tsaghkadzor municipality’s behavior was interesting, their representative came to the court and said that they did not work at that time, they could not provide information about that procedure but at the same time the representative of the municipality said Onik Baghdasaryan was unaware of the auction," Hayrapetyan said.

Meanwhile, Hayrapetyan said that there were corruption risks. "These people have such an experience, before this incident they were able to privatize a gas heater. There definitely are risks of corruption, relative networks, Onik Baghdasaryan has a relative who is a judge and it is not excluded that he used these networks," he said, adding that now that the area is not exploited and Onik Baghdasaryan also has electricity debt of 450 thousand AMD in this area.

As a result, Onik Baghdasaryan’s claim was satisfied partially. The decision of the sale of Tsakhkadzor mayor was considered invalid. The state registration of property rights of Gnel Hayrapetyan and the contract of sale was declared void.

Gnel Hayrapetyan complains that the judge had an interest and changed the basis and the subject of the claim with his own initiative.

Hayrapetyan's lawyer Vardan Arakelyan said that this case is a dangerous phenomenon emerging in the judicial system.

“The danger lies in the fact that the Administrative Court of Appeal makes a decision where there is absolutely no groundless. This reflects the absolute arbitrariness. The appeal was lodged on the grounds that the administrative court was beyond the scope of the subject matter of the claim and did not conduct an objective investigation; witnesses’ interrogation was adapted to the facts of the case, while the other witnesses were giving evidence. The Court of Appeal did not make any reference to the legal 7 questions raised in the appeal and did not make reference to suit the base, changing the subject," Arakelyan said.

Now, the case has been appealed to the Court of Cassation. The speaker said that it would be better that the issue is solved in Armenia's judicial system, otherwise they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.  

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to [email protected].

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