Surik Khachatryan

From Armeniapedia.org
Jump to: navigation, search

Governor of Syunik Marz in southern Armenia.

Place of Birth: Goris

Education:

  • 1991-1995 - Goris “Syunik” Institute, Faculty of Enterprise Economics and Management, qualification of economist-manager
  • 2000-2003 - State Administration Academy, State Administration and Local Self-Government Department, qualification of State servant

Career Experience:

  • 1973-1974 - Goris Motor-repair plant, mechanic
  • 1976-1988 - Goris Motor-repair plant, mechanic
  • 1992-1994 - Commander of Goris volunteers battalion N3
  • 1994-1996 - First deputy head of the executive committee of Goris municipal council
  • 1996 - Head of the executive committee of Goris municipal council
  • 1996-1999 - Mayor of Goris town
  • 1999-2004 - Member of RA National Assembly
  • As from March 24, 2004 to date – Syunik Marz Governor

Other Details:
Colonel to RA Armed Forces, he was awarded with the following State decorations: Second Degree Fighting Cross and Sparapet Vazgen Sargsyan, Garegin Nezhdeh, Marshall Bagramian Maternal Gratitude and For Fighting Service medals.

Party Membership:
Republican Party of Armenia

Personal Status:
Married, father of two sons and two daughters.

Contents

Insults and threatens environmental activists

Armenian Governor Embroiled In Another Scandal

Elina Chilingarian
21.12.2011

A regional governor notorious for reportedly violent behavior has triggered yet another scandal after apparently bullying and insulting young environmental activists protesting against open-pit mining in Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province.

Amateur video circulated through the Internet shows Surik Khachatrian telling the activists to “shut up” and calling one of them a “shrimp” as they confronted him in the village of Kajaran over the weekend.

Khachatrian also warned the most famous and outspoken of the protesters, Mariam Sukhudian, “Behave yourself so that nothing happens to you.” He said nothing when another protester asked him to elaborate.

Sukhudian and other activists denounced the “threat” at a news conference held in Yerevan on Wednesday.

The incident occurred just one week after Khachatrian controversially avoided prosecution for assaulting a businesswoman in Yerevan last month. Law-enforcement authorities said they will not press charges against him because he hit the woman, Silva Hambardzumian, only once and did not injure her.

The Armenian government and the ruling Republican Party, of which the governor is a member, have also pointedly declined to censure the governor.

The young environmentalists travelled to Kajaran to show solidarity with villagers angered by a government decision to give large swaths of communal land to a German-owned company mining copper and molybdenum in the mountainous area.

In accordance with that decision made last April, the Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC) is to receive 181 hectares of land in Kajaran and several nearby villages. The company’s majority shareholder, the German metals group Cronimet, says the transfer stems from its agreements with the government and will benefit Armenia economically.

Many Kajaran residents led by Rafik Atayan, believe, however, that mining operations in the area would spell an ecological disaster for their community and lead to a mass exodus of its population. Atayan resigned as mayor and ended his membership in the HHK in protest last week.

The Yerevan-based environmentalists echoed these concerns and voiced strong opposition to the mining project as they crossed paths with Khachatrian and other Syunik officials in Kajaran. One of them videotaped the tense conversation and posted it on the Internet.

Khachatrian was visibly annoyed by the activists’ pledges to resist the land transfer together with local residents. The YouTube footage shows him telling Sukhudian to “calm down” before issuing her with a more stern warning.

“So what could happen to her?” asked one young man. Khachatrian did not reply.

Khachatrian, better known to most Armenians with his “Liska” nickname, went on to tell Sukhudian to stop “scolding the state.” “Thank you for coming here but we stand by these people,” he said. “Nobody is going to kick these people out of this place. Their homes won’t be destroyed for nothing. I want you to understand that.”

The governor again lost his temper moments later when another young woman from Yerevan tried to join in the conversation. “You shrimp, shut up,” he said.

“Go to your country and preach there,” Khachatrian told another protester, a Diaspora Armenian who has lived in Armenia for more than a decade. “But this is my country,” hit back the young man.

“Nor is this your country,” Khachatrian continued, turning to Sukhudian. “If it was your country you wouldn’t talk like that.”

Assaulting a businesswoman

Armenian Governor Again Accused Of Violence

15.11.2011 Irina Hovhannisyan, Astghik Bedevian

An Armenian businesswoman claimed on Tuesday to have been assaulted by a regional governor notorious for reportedly violent conduct just days after accusing him of corruption and business-related fraud.

Silva Hambardzumian alleged that Surik Khachatrian of the southeastern Syunik province punched her in the head in a Yerevan hotel late on Monday, lodging a formal complaint with state prosecutors. Khachatrian denied that.

The prosecutors’ investigating arm, the Special Investigative Service (SIS), opened a criminal case on the allegations on Tuesday evening. The SIS did that after questioning Hambardzumian in connection with her corruption allegations made against Khachatrian.

Speaking at a news conference last week, Hambardzumian, who has business interests in Syunik, charged that a mining company owned by the governor misappropriated mining equipment worth more than 100 million drams ($263,000) from another firm belonging to her. She also accused him of bullying an Australian firm to sell a gold mine located in the mountainous region bordering Iran.

Hambardzumian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that Khachatrian assaulted her as she was about to leave the lobby of the Armenia Marriott Hotel after a meeting with a foreign business partner. She said he hit her before being pulled away by other men who accompanied him.

“I was shocked,” she said. “Not because of the beating itself but the fact that a man, a state official can beat a woman.”

According to Hambardzumian, the incident was witnessed by Khachik Manukian, a businessman and parliament deputy. But Manukian denied that. “When I arrived there everything was over,” he said. “I saw her sitting and crying.”

In Manukian words, Khachatrian and several other men sat nearby in the meantime. “People said that some incident occurred, that there were some cries,” the pro-government lawmaker said.

The press office of Syunik’s regional administration denied the assault allegations in a statement issued later on Tuesday. It accused the female entrepreneur of “slander.”

For its part, Marriott’s security service claimed that no violent incidents were witnessed by hotel staff or caught on surveillance cameras. “We have no cameras in that section,” a security guard, who identified himself as Armen, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

Hambardzumian insisted, however, that the hotel has video evidence of the alleged assault and warned the Marriott management against withholding it.

Khachatrian, better known in Armenia with his “Liska” nickname, and his extended family have held sway in the regional town of Goris and nearby villages ever since the early 1990s. Independent media outlets in Yerevan have for years implicated them in violent attacks on local business rivals as well as government critics, including a Syunik newspaper editor whose car was set on fire in 2005.

The controversial governor has always denied involvement in such incidents and denounced opposition politicians and pro-opposition media for branding him a crime figure. Vazgen Manukian, a former opposition leader who now heads President Sarkisian’s Public Council, referred to him in as an “uneducated criminal” in 2007.

In 2008, Khachatrian faced an embarrassing government inquiry into a newspaper report that accused him of beating up a teenage boy. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

Khachatrian, who was appointed as Syunik governor by former President Robert Kocharian, managed to retain his post even after the Armenian parliament’s Audit Chamber accused Syunik officials of embezzling 575 million drams ($1.5 million) worth of public funds and property later in 2008.

A member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Khachatrian was reputed to be Sarkisian’s protégé even before the current president succeeded Kocharian in 2008. He personally managed the parliamentary election campaign of Sarkisian’s controversial brother Aleksandr in 2007. The latter ran for parliament unopposed in a Goris constituency.

Also noteworthy is fact that official results of the February 2008 disputed presidential election showed Sarkisian receiving the highest percentage of votes in Syunik.

Meanwhile, the HHK on Tuesday declined to directly comment on the latest scandal involving Khachatrian. “I am not inclined to make immediate evaluations,” the party’s deputy chairman, Galust Sahakian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “I would just say that the HHK believes that state officials must live more restrained lives.”

Armenian Governor Avoids Prosecution Despite Assault

Irina Hovhannisyan 13.12.2011

Surik Khachatrian, an Armenian regional governor notorious for reportedly violent conduct, will not be prosecuted despite being found guilty of assaulting a businesswoman who accused him of fraud, law-enforcement authorities said on Tuesday.

The announcement all but ended speculation that Khachatrian, who runs Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province, may be sacked after yet another scandal.

Silva Hambardzumian, who has business interests in Syunik, claimed on November 14 to have been attacked and hit by Khachatrian in the lobby of a Yerevan hotel.

The incident took place just days after Hambardzumian alleged at a news conference that a mining company owned by him misappropriated mining equipment worth more than 100 million drams ($263,000) from another firm belonging to her. She also accused Khachatrian of forcing an Australian firm to sell a gold mine located in the mountainous region bordering Iran.

​The governor strongly denied assaulting the businesswoman before being questioned in an inquiry launched by the Special Investigative Service (SIS). The probe was conducted under an article of the Armenian Criminal Code dealing with beatings.

Citing eyewitness accounts and footage from hotel security cameras, the SIS said on Tuesday that Khachatrian did slap Hambardzumian in the face at the Armenia Marriott Hotel and now “regrets” his actions. But it said the violence does not count as a “beating” because it did not involve multiple blows or cause the victim any physical injuries.

SIS investigators have therefore closed a criminal case opened in connection with the incident, the law-enforcement agency subordinate to state prosecutors added in a statement.

​​The statement did not explain why Khachatrian cannot be prosecuted on charges of hooliganism that also carry prison sentences. Violent actions or even threat of them are defined by the Criminal Code as hooliganism.

Hambardzumian, meanwhile, appeared to be broadly satisfied with the SIS announcement, saying that Khachatrian’s reported regrets amount to a public apology. She also said that the governor will compensate her for her allegedly stolen equipment.

“He should pay up by the end of this week,” the entrepreneur told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

Khachatrian denied planning to do that, however. “Nobody took anything away from her and nobody has to compensate her,” he said.

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) by phone, the governor insisted that he “shoved,” rather than hit, Hambardzumian but refused to go into details of the incident. “Don’t act like a criminal investigator,” he said.

Khachatrian, who is better known in Armenia with his “Liska” nickname, has held sway in the Syunik town of Goris and nearby villages ever since the early 1990s. Independent media outlets in Yerevan have long implicated him and his relatives in violent attacks on local business rivals as well as government critics, including a Syunik newspaper editor whose car was set on fire in 2005.

The controversial governor has always denied involvement in such incidents and denounced opposition politicians and pro-opposition media for branding him a crime figure.

Khachatrian risked dismissal in 2008 as he faced an embarrassing government inquiry into a newspaper report that accused him of beating up a teenage boy. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

Khachatrian, who was appointed as Syunik governor by former President Robert Kocharian, managed to retain his post even after the Armenian parliament’s Audit Chamber accused Syunik officials of embezzling 575 million drams ($1.5 million) worth of public funds and property later in 2008.

The SIS’s decision not to press charges against him was denounced on Tuesday by human rights activists as further proof of impunity enjoyed by influential individuals close to Armenia’s political leadership. Zhanna Aleksanian, a veteran journalist specializing in human rights, linked the development with the unfolding preparations for parliamentary elections due in May 2012.

“We have had numerous chances to see that Surik Khachatrian is above the law and allowed to do anything,” Aleksanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “The more so now that we are entering a pre-election period.”

“Indeed, how can you hurt someone who does all the vote rigging in Syunik?” she asked with sarcasm.

Official results of the last Armenian presidential and parliamentary elections marred by fraud allegations showed President Sarkisian and his Republican Party doing better in Syunik than in any other part of the country.




Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Databases
Toolbox