The founder of the VETO movement, Narek Malyan, claims that Justice Minister Rustam Badasyan’s wife occupies the post of Vice President of the National Assembly, receiving money from the state budget, while at the same time she has founded a private company that is directly related to her husband’s position.
Before this statement Narek Malyan wrote on his Facebook page on January 9 that Rustam Badasyan’s wife, Tatevik Sargsyan, had founded a legal services company shortly after Rustam Badasyan was appointed Justice Minister.
“It is certainly commendable that the minister is quick to make a business decision, but few know that the minister’s wife is also a government official. In particular, according to the official website of the National Assembly, Tatevik Sargsyan is an employee of the Office of the Vice President of the National Assembly Lena Nazaryan and receives salary from the state budget along with her business activities. I leave the discussion of the compatibility of business and public office to corruption experts and journalists” he wrote.
Following the statement, National Assembly Vice President Lena Nazaryan refuted Malian’s claim, writing on her Facebook page: “The wife of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia has not been working in my office since last summer in order to carry out her professional activities. But even if she did, there is no corruption involved.”
Justice Minister Rustam Badasyan also refuted the information provided by Malian. “My wife has not been working in the office of RA NA Speaker Lena Nazaryan since summer 2019 (see Lena Nazaryan’s refutation). I have neither directly nor indirectly participated in the management of the law firm and have no affiliation with it. My wife received the attorney’s license in 2015, and information is available on advocates.am website. I used to be a shareholder in another law firm, but in order to avoid conflicts of interest, I gave up my shares when I was still working in the State Revenue Committee.”
Narek Malyan then made another post, noting that after the scandal, information about Badasyan’s wife was removed from the NA website.
In response to Fip.am’s inquiry, they informed us from the Staff of the National Assembly that the employment contract of Tatevik Sargsyan, expert in the Staff of NA Deputy Speaker Lena Nazaryan, was terminated on July 9, 2019 according to the order of the Chief of Staff of the National Assembly, pursuant to Decree No. 641, attaching the decision on the dismissal.
As to the fact that the information on the post of the Minister of Justice’s spouse has been removed from the NA website, they explained that the NA Staff Management Department should submit to the NA official website maintenance department information on the NA Speaker, his deputies, their office staff, heads of departments and subdivisions in order to post the information on the website.
“However, the Staff Management Department did not inform the website maintenance department about Tatevik Sargsyan’s dismissal, and thus Tatevik Sargsyan’s information was not removed from the website,” they informed us from the NA.
It should be noted that TR LAW FIRM was registered in the electronic register on May 7, 2019. Sixty percent of the company was owned by Tatevik Sargsyan, and 40 percent by Raffi Doudaklian, who has not had any shares in the company since December 19, 2019. His shares were acquired by Lara-Ani Cholakyan.
Thus, we can state that the claim of the founder of the VETO movement Narek Malyan is largely false, as Tatevik Sargsyan’s job as an expert in the National Assembly Vice President’s office and as a shareholder in a private company coincided for a period of two months only.