On October 2, 2014, in a reversal of its former decision, the Armenian government allocated 754.8 million AMD (US$1.58 million) to upgrade the housing of various government employees.
52.4 million dram was earmarked for those working for the country’s Prosecutor General.
A day later, a 118.55 square meter apartment, worth 31.6 million AMD ($66,000) in a new Yerevan building was purchased for Emil Babayan, a deputy prosecutor general.
The purchase was on the basis of a decision taken by Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan.
A 20.8 million AMD ($43,400) apartment in the same building was purchased for Souren Khachatryan, a senior prosecutor at the Prosecutor General’s Office.
These apartments were allocated as private property to the employees.
They were purchased from a company called Mikmetal Ltd., 75% of the shares of which were owned in 2012 by an offshore concern called Margo Holdings Ltd.
According to a financial disclosure statement filed by Emil Babayan, when he assumed his post at the prosecutor general’s office he already had an apartment
So why did Babayan get another apartment for free, at taxpayers’ expense, in a brand new building?
Hetq has sent two separate inquiries to the prosecutor general in the past two months seeking an answer. We have yet to hear back from them.
Chief of staff of the Armenian government Davit Harutyunyan, in a reply to our inquiry, explained that the government will continue its policy of investing in social programs designed to make civil service jobs that much more appealing and that resources from the reserve fund are being used towards this end.