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Vahe Sarukhanyan

Pashinyan’s Mother-in-Law, Brother-in-Law File Faulty Financial Disclosures

While Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and his team have repeatedly stated that government officials must work in a transparent fashion, some of Pashinyan's relatives have failed to properly declare all their assets in their financial disclosures.

These relatives include Pashinyan’s mother-in-law and his brother-in-law.

Kima Mkrtchyan, Pashinyan’s mother-in-law, is one of the three shareholders of Dareskizb LLC, the publisher of Haykakan Zhamanak, a newspaper where Pashinyan worked before becoming an MP in 2012.

Armenia’s Legal Entities Registry shows that Kima Mkrtchyan owns 70% of Dareskizb shares. (Pashinyan’s friend, former My Step MP Hayk Gevorgyan owns 20% and Democratic Homeland Party leader Petros Makeyan owns 10%.)

Kima Mkrtchyan received her 70% share in 2014 from her daughter Anna Hakobyan. (Hakobyan, Pashinyan’s wife, is the newspaper’s chief editor.)

Armenia’s Public Service Law states that adult family members of officials required to file declarations must file separate declarations. According to the law, family members of such officials are: his/her spouse, minor child (including adopted child), any person under the guardianship or trusteeship of the official, and any adult residing with the official.

Kima Mkrtchyan started submitting financial declarations in 2018, after her son Hrachya Hakobyan became an MP in the summer of that year. In other words, according to the law, Mkrtchyan was considered a member of Hrachya Hakobyan's household. Anna Hakobyan is also registered with her mother and brother, but she lives separately from them and submits declarations as a member of Pashinyan's family.

Thus, Kima Mkrtchyan was obligated to submit financial disclosures starting in 2018, on an annual basis.

Kima Mkrtchyan's 2019 and 2020 declarations, in the section "equity securities and other investments", make no mention of her 70% stake in Dareskizb LLC.  

Kima Mkrtchyan also has an 80% stake in Nikan Publishing House, founded in May 2009. The name Nikan is derived from the first names NIKol and ANna.

Hayk Gevorgyan owns 20% of Nikan Publishing.

Kima Mkrtchyan’s 2019 and 2020 financial disclosures fail to report her 80% stake in the publishing company.

Armenia’s Criminal Code stipulates those officials who submit false/incomplete financial disclosures are subject to fines of 2,000,000-3,000,000 drams and two-three years of jail time. Such officials can also be barred from holding certain government posts for up to three years.

Pashinyan's brother-in-law repeats mother's mistake

Hrachya Hakobyan failed to report the shares owned by his mother, Kima Mkrtchyan, in his 2019 and 2020 financial disclosures. He should have reported this information in the section entitled “declaration of interests". This section is where officials present information not only about themselves but also their family members, including their participation in commercial entities. Hakobyan failed to mention that his mother was a shareholder in two companies.

Hakobyan also owns a company, B26 LLC (founded in July 2017), which was engaged in organizing public catering. While the company has suspended operations, it hasn’t been liquidated. Thus, Hakobyan was obliged to declare the company, which he did.

However, Hakobyan presented his 100% stake in B26 only in the section "equity securities and other investments", and there is no mention of this (like his mother's shares) in the "declaration of interests" section.

Hakobyan, a member of the Civil Contract party, mentioned his party affiliation in his 2019 disclosure but not in his 2020 filing.

Former MP Gevorgyan doesn’t declare some shares

Hayk Gevorgyan, in his 2019 and 2020 disclosures and in his 2021 disclosure upon leaving the parliament, did not mention his stake in both Dareskizb (20%) and Nikan Publishing House (20%) in the “shares and other investments" section.

However, in the "declaration of interests" section of these same declarations, Gevorgyan reported his 20% stake in Dareskizb, but didn’t mention his 20% stake in Nikan.

Of note is that when Gevorgyan became an MP in January 2019, he resigned as Dareskizb’s director, a position he held since 2013. This is normal procedure.

Armenia’s Constitution stipulates: "A deputy may not hold a position unconditional on his/her status in other state or local self-government bodies, any position in a commercial organization, engage in entrepreneurial activity, perform any other paid work, except for scientific, educational and creative work."

However, we’ve said that Gevorgyan has been the director of Nikan Publishing House since his registration in May 2009. He never resigned from this post when he became an MP, which violates the Constitution.

Hayk Gevorgyan and Hrachya Hakobyan also didn’t transfer their shares to a trust for management when they became MPs. Handing over the business to trust management is the most optimal option, shielding them from being accused of engaging in business activities, which is prohibited by the country's Constitution.

Comments (4)

mihran robert mahmouzian
go to jail in armenia is not enougth room they are all crook.and they teach the kids to be crook
Marina Sarkisyan
The PM is an embarrassment to all Armenians around the world.
I love it. Once crook you remain a crook. No double standard, they should go to jail just like the rest.

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