Tax inspection underway in Civilitas Foundation investigation.

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia, Philippe Lefort, along with the Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Traian Hristea, meeting Vartan Oscanian at the Civilitas Foundation in February 2012.

Maintaining the political nature of the charges laid against the Civilitas Foundation, an Armenian think tank, and its founder, former Foreign Minister and prominent member of the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK for its initials in Armenian) Vartan Oskanian, have requested the court end the criminal investigations into the organisation’s activities. More…

Armenia post-elections: Former Foreign Minister put under investigation.

Vartan Oscanian

Vartan Oskanian, former Foreign Minister of Armenia and a prominent member of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) has been placed under criminal investigation by the National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) on allegations of money laundering and tax evasion at the Civilitas Foundation, a think tank he founded and led from 2008 until this past February when he declared his intent to re-enter politics. Oskanian has declared that the allegations are politically motivated.

According to a statement he issued on June 11, Oskanian said he finds “it strange and astonishing that my work and the work of Civilitas can in any way be linked to money laundering or illegally acquired funds.” “Even more astonishing,” he continued, “is that such a question is being raised at a time when I have entered politics.” He added, “it is obvious to me that the criminal case that has been opened is politically motivated.”

The American Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern also expressed his concerns. Ambassador Heffern told Radio Free Europe that more than anything “the timing of [the investigation] is troubling. The fact that this would happen at this time in the political calendar is troubling.” More…