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Edik Baghdasaryan

Is the Assistant Prosecutor a Pimp's Protector?

A file sent to the Office of the Prosecutor General from the Police Service of Armenia in March 2006 contains allegations from sisters G. and S. that Yerevan resident Gayane Darbinyan took them to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where they were subjected to sexual exploitation. But when the young women subsequently testified, they made no complaint against Darbinyan. We were informed by a source that the sisters testified at the Prosecutor's Office that they had been illegally detained for three days at the Sixth Department of the Police Service and had been forced to give evidence. In their complaint they stated that investigators at the Prosecutor's Office had also forced them to give evidence. Our source in the Prosecutor's Office told us that the sisters were prompted to write the complaint by the Assistant Prosecutor of the Malatia-Sebastia district Artur Manukyan. He is a patron of madam Gayane Darbinyan.

In response to our inquiry, the press service of the Prosecutor's Office told us that based on the materials received from the Police Service, criminal proceedings were instituted against Gayane Darbinyan. She is charged with violating Article 262 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (Maintaining Dens of Prostitution or Pimping). An investigation is under way. Our question regarding ties between Gayane Darbinyan and the assistant prosecutor was left unanswered.

The investigation ascertained that the two sisters left for Dubai from Yerevan. And assistant prosecutor Artur Manukyan in his official capacity is responsible for Zvartnots airport. According to our information, Artur Manukyan petitioned unsuccessfully to have the charges against Gayane Darbinyan dropped.