Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
The criminal case regarding "Civilitas" Foundation hits the image of Armenia and its law-enforcement agencies, director of the foundation, Salbi Kazaryan, told journalists today.
To note, today she was called to the National Security Service to be questioned like a witness on a lawsuit filed against the foundation by the third point of the 19Ћth clause of the Criminal Code of Armenia (money laundering).
Kazaryan said that just the same way as the founder of the foundation, ex-foreign minister of Armenia, Vardan Oskanyan, she also refused to give evidence, as the statement of the National Security Service was formed in such an absurd way, that it is simply senseless to discuss it. She stood in the NSC for an hour, during which some documents connected with activity of the foundation were checked, she said and added that it is clear that this checking
process which is absolutely senseless hinders natural work of the foundation.
To recall, yesterday ambassadors of several countries to Armenia visited the foundation and were presented the details of the process around it, as well the financial sources and expenses of the foundation as well as its main directions.
Kazaryan told journalists that she hopes that the visit of the ambassadors will positively affect the course of the case. "The authorities as well as the law-enforcement agencies should understand that such a wrong approach and such an absurd blaming of the foundation hits the image of the
country. The "Civilitas" has been functioning rather transparently and had no violations. Any accusation and suspicion is groundless. We are confident that finally this case will find its fair settlement, as the foundation has been working as transparent as possible", - director of the foundation said.
The criminal case against the Civilitas Foundation concerns the $2mln transaction for the sale of Huntsman Building Products, an Armenia-based company owned by US-based Polymer Materials and Huntsman International, says the National Security Service of Armenia.
"As a result of some inaccuracies in the contract, the transaction was not submitted to the tax authorities and therefore left untaxed. Of the charity funds left in Armenia according to the wish of the American side, as much as $1,135,000 was not spent for charity but was transferred to accounts opened by the founder and president of the Civilitas Foundation Vartan Oskanian and the Foundation's trustee Tigran Karapetyan, with part of the money used for personal needs. In its turn, contrary to its own charter, the Civilitas Foundation failed to report on the taxation of the $2mln provided to Polymer
Materials and Huntsman International for charity," says the NSS, adding that the case stipulates tax inspections, trade analyses, interrogations.
In response to the NSS's report, Vartan Oskanian has repeated that the case is clearly politically motivated. "I want to say the following: money laundering, Oskanian, Huntsman are words that cannot be placed together in one sentence. In order for there to be money laundering, there must first be dirty money. In this case, the source of the funds are known, the buyer is known, the transfer of the funds to me and to Civilitas according to the donor's wishes have
been transparent and electronic. The attorneys have said that no tax obligation was created as a result of the transaction. And the donor's funds "shall be considered as a donation and the Recipient has the right to use in its discretion and for the implementation of its statutory objectives. Only those with political motivations will attempt to reduce a good man's good work to political currency," says Oskanian.