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[Excerpts]

Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Armenia

Adopted on 1 September 1998, amended 2013

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CHAPTER 2. PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Article 7. Legitimacy

1. The agency for inquest, the investigator, the prosecutor, the court, the judge, and any other person participating in criminal proceedings shall be obligated to observe the Constitution, this Code, and other laws.

2. In connection with a criminal case, no person may be detained, arrested, searched, taken into custody, or subjected to any other measure of procedural compulsion or conviction or other restriction of his rights and freedoms otherwise than on the grounds and by procedure prescribed by law.

3. The agency for inquest, the investigator, the prosecutor, the court, and the judge shall apply the law in accordance with their own legal knowledge.

 

Article 8. Equality of All Before the Law

All people are equal before the law and shall enjoy equal protection of the law, without any discrimination.

 

Article 9. Respect for the Rights, Freedoms and Dignity of an Individual

1. Respect for the rights, freedoms, and dignity of a person is mandatory for all bodies and persons participating in criminal proceedings.

2. The court can warrant temporary limitation of the rights and freedoms of individuals as well as imposition of measures of procedural compulsion only in cases, where the necessity of such warrant is supported with appropriate legal grounds.

3. In the course of criminal proceedings, no one shall be kept in conditions humiliating human dignity.

4. No one may be forced to participate in procedural actions humiliating his dignity.

5. Everyone has the right to defend his rights and freedoms by any means not prohibited by law.

 

Article 10. Ensuring the Right to Legal Assistance

1. Everyone has the right to receive legal assistance, in accordance with the provisions of this Code. 2. The body conducting criminal proceedings, shall be obligated to ensure that the suspect or the accused receive legal assistance.

3. During criminal proceedings, the civil claimant or his legal representative, the legal representative of the suspect or the accused, as well as the civil defendant shall have the right to enjoy the legal assistance of lawyers invited by them.

4. During interrogation of the injured party, the body of criminal prosecution shall have no right to prohibit the attendance of the attorney invited by the injured party as legal representative.

5. The body conducting the criminal proceedings is entitled to provide the suspect or the accused with free legal counselling based on the financial situation of the latter.

 

Article 11. Immunity of Person

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and immunity.

2. No one may be taken into custody and deprived of his liberty except on the grounds and by procedure stipulated in this Code.

3. Arrest, keeping in custody, or forcible placement of a person with a medical or correction institution shall be allowed only by warrant of the court. A person may not be subjected to detention for more than 96 hours unless a relevant warrant is issued by the court. 

 4. Everyone who is detained or arrested shall be informed promptly of the reasons for his detention or arrest, as well as the factual circumstances and legal description of the offense, the commission of which is incriminated to him, or suspected in.

5. The court, as well as the agency for inquest, the investigator, and the prosecutor shall be obligated to promptly order the release of any detained person, if the detention is not lawful. The head of administration of a detention facility shall have no right to place, without a warrant of the court or any other grounds prescribed by this Code, any person into custody, and shall be obligated to release any person, whose detention period has expired.

6. Search or physical examination of a person, as well as other procedural actions interfering with the immunity of a person, can be conducted in cases and by procedure prescribed by this Code.

7. In the course of criminal proceedings, no one shall be subjected to torture, unlawful physical or mental violence, including the use of drugs, hunger, exhaustion, hypnosis, deprivation of medical aid, and any other cruel treatment. It shall be prohibited to use force, threats, fraud, violation of rights, and other unlawful methods while trying to obtain testimony from the suspect, the accused, the defendant, the injured party, the witness, and other persons participating in criminal proceedings.

8. It shall be prohibited to get a person involved in long investigative experiments or other procedural actions or the same causing physical sufferings or endangering his life or the life of other persons around, as well as to subject a person to any other tests of similar character. 9. In the course of criminal proceedings, it shall be prohibited to use methods that may endanger the life and health of people or the environment.

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Article 16. Public Trial

1. Trial shall be public.

2. Trial in camera is held, in cases and in the manner prescribed by law, shall be held only upon a court decision, for the purpose of protection of public morals, public order, state security, and the private life of the parties, as well as the interests of justice. The court verdicts and final decisions in all cases are announced publicly.

 

Article 17. Fair Trial

1. Everyone has the right to a fair trial with observance of all requirements of fairness, by an independent and impartial court, of any criminal case affecting one's interests.

2. The judge, the prosecutor, the investigator, the officers of the agency for inquest can not participate in the proceedings of a criminal case, if they are directly or indirectly interested in its outcome.

3. The body of criminal prosecution is obligated to undertake all measures prescribed by this Code for a comprehensive, full and objective investigation of the case circumstances, to reveal all the circumstances both convicting and absolving the suspect or accused, and also the circumstances reducing and aggravating his responsibility.

 

 4. All statements of the suspect, the accused, and their defense attorney about their innocence, on the availability of evidence absolving the suspect or the accused or reducing their responsibility, all appeals on violation of the law in the course of criminal proceedings shall be thoroughly examined by the body conducting the criminal proceedings.

 

Article 18. Presumption of Innocence

1. Every person suspected in or charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent unless proved guilty in the manner prescribed by this Code and unless the verdict comes into legal force.

2. The suspect or the accused is not obligated to prove his innocence. The obligation to prove the innocence of the suspect or the accused can not be imposed on the defense party. The obligation to prove the charges and to disprove the arguments brought in favor of the suspect and the accused lies upon the prosecution.

3. No conclusion that a person is guilty of a crime can be based on suppositions, and such conclusion has to be supported by sufficient combination of reliable and compatible evidence [cumulative evidence], which is relevant to the case.

4. All doubts concerning the charge to be proved, which cannot be eliminated through a due process of law in accordance with the provisions of this Code, are interpreted in favor of the accused and the suspect.

 

Article 19. The Right to Defense of the Suspect and the Accused and Guarantees for this Right

1. Every suspect and the accused has the right to defense.

2. The body conducting the criminal proceedings, is obligated to explain to the suspect and the accused their rights and provide them with actual possibility to defend themselves against the charges by all means not prohibited by law.

3. The body conducting the criminal proceedings, is obligated to ensure that the legal representative of the suspect or the accused takes part in the case.

4. The suspect and the accused are entitled to defend themselves against the charges either in person or through the legal assistance of a defense attorney and legal representative. Participation of the defense attorney and the legal representative in the criminal proceedings shall not restrict the rights of the suspect and the accused.

5. The suspect and the accused cannot be forced to testify, submit any materials to the bodies of criminal prosecution, or provide any assistance to them.

 

Article 20. Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

1. No one shall be obligated to furnish evidence against himself, his/her spouse, and close relatives.

2. Any person, who is suggested by the body of criminal prosecution to furnish data or materials incriminating himself, his/her spouse or close relatives, has the right to refuse from doing so.

3. This Code can stipulate also other cases of privilege against testifying or furnishing evidence.

 

Article 21. Inadmissibility of Repeated Conviction and Criminal Prosecution for the Same Crime

1. No one can be convicted twice for the same offense.

2. After the judgment of the court enters into legal force, the person involved shall be guaranteed, with respect to the same event, against any resumption of criminal prosecution or any replacement of the charge or the penalty with a more severe one.

3. Aquittal or termination of the case or suspension of the criminal prosecution, cassation appeal against the court decision, can be brought within six months after the came into legal force.

4. The decision to suspend the case, or terminate the criminal prosecution can be eliminated only by the attorney general, within six months after such decision has been made.

5. The deadlines mentioned in this Article are not valid in the case of newly discovered circumstances.

 

Article 22. Rehabilitation of the Rights of the Persons who suffered from Judicial Mistakes

1. An acquitted person is entitled to rehabilitation of his rights, including the compensation financial damages caused to him in the course of criminal proceedings conducted by the bodies in charge of criminal proceedings. Rehabilitation measures shall be implemented by the bodies conducting the criminal proceedings, in the manner prescribed by this Code.

2. Also, entitled to compensation of inflicted financial damage, is any person who was illegally subjected to forced measures by the body in charge of criminal proceedings.

3. The bodies conducting the criminal proceedings must implement all measures envisaged in this Code for the rehabilitation of the rights of the acquitted person.

 

Article 23. Adversarial System of Criminal Proceedings

1. Criminal proceedings shall be conducted on the basis of the principle of adversarial process.

2. Criminal prosecution, defense, and final resolution of a case shall be separated from each other and shall be conducted by different bodies and persons.

3. The court is not a body supporting either the prosecution, or defense party, while maintaining and expressing only the interests of the law and justice.

4. The court trying a criminal case, shall uphold the principles of objectivity and impartiality and shall create necessary conditions for both parties to comprehensively and fully examine all the circumstances of the case. The court is not bound by the opinions of the parties and is entitled to undertake, upon its own initiative, all the necessary measures to reveal the truth in the criminal case.

5. The parties to a criminal proceeding are empowered by the criminal-procedural legislation with equal rights and chances to defend and support their own positions. The verdict of the court may be based on such evidence only, examination of which has been made equally accessible for both parties.

6. In the choice of their standpoints and methods and measures to be used to maintain those standpoints in the course of criminal proceedings, the parties shall be independent of the court or any other bodies and persons. Upon the motion of a party, the court shall assist such party in receiving necessary materials, in the manner prescribed by this Code.

7. The court shall ensure the right of the parties to participate in the trial of the case by the court of first instance and the appellate court. The person who brought the appeal is entitled to be present in the cassation court.

8. Participation of the parties in the examination of a criminal case at the court is obligatory. In every criminal case, prosecution shall be represented at the trial by a prosecutor.

 

Article 24. Administration of Justice Exclusively by the Court

1. In the Republic of Armenia, justice shall be administered exclusively by the court. Establishment of extraordinary courts is not permitted.

2. No one can be adjudicated guilty in commission of a crime or undergo criminal punishment otherwise than upon the judgment of the court and in accordance with law.

3. Misappropriation of judicial authority shall be punishable under the criminal law.

4. Jurisdiction of the court and procedures for administration of criminal justice may not be arbitrarily changed with respect to particular cases, persons, or situations, or for a particular period of time.

5. No one can be deprived of the right to have his case tried by that particular court or that particular judge, to the jurisdiction of which or whom it is assigned by the law.

6. The judgment or any other decision rendered by the court with regard to criminal cases may be reviewed only by the relevant superior court, in the manner prescribed by this Code.

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CHAPTER 8. DEFENDANT PARTY

 

Article 62. The Suspect

1. The suspect is the person:

1) detained upon the suspicion in committing a crime;

2) with regard to whom a resolution on the selection of precautionary measure is adopted. 2. The body of criminal prosecution is not entitled to keep the person in detention as a suspect over 96 hours, and as for implementation of precautionary measures over 7 days from the moment of declaration to the suspect the resolution on the selection of precautionary measures.

3. Prior to the expiration of the time limits, set by Part 2 of this Article, the body of criminal prosecution is obligated to release the suspect from imprisonment and to cancel the precautionary measure selected in respect to him/her or to issue resolution on bringing him/her to trial as the accused.

4. Finding the suspicion not sufficiently substantiated, the body of criminal prosecution and the court are obligated to release the suspect from imprisonment and to denounce the precautionary measure, selected with respect to him/her prior to the expiration of the deadlines, set by Part 2 of this Article.

5. The person ceases to be a suspect from the moment of his/her release from imprisonment or from the moment of issuing by the body of criminal prosecution the resolution on bringing him/her to trial as the accused.

 

Article 63. The Rights and Obligations of the Suspect

1. The suspect has a right to defense. The body, conducting the criminal proceedings, provides the suspect with the possibility to implement the right to defense, he/she is entitled to, by all means and remedies, not prohibited by law.

2. The suspect has the right, in the manner, prescribed by this Code, on the following:

1) to know, what he/she is suspected in, to know the content of suspicion, the factual side and legal qualification of the deed incriminated to him/her;

2) to receive immediately upon detention from the body of inquiry, the investigator or the prosecutor a written notification of one's rights and explanation;

3) to receive immediately upon detention or upon declaration of the resolution on the selection of precautionary measure from the body of criminal prosecution, the free copy of the resolution of the body of criminal prosecution or the copy of the resolution on the selection of precautionary measure; to receive immediately upon the completion of the protocol of detention its copy;

4) to have a defense attorney from the moment of presentation to him/her the resolution of the body of criminal prosecution, on detention, the protocol of detention or the resolution on selection of the precautionary measure; to refuse from defense attorney and to conduct the defense himself/herself;

5) to communicate without hindrance, with his/her defense attorney tete-a-tete and confidentially without limitation of the number and the length of the conversations;

6) to be interrogated with participation of the defense attorney;

7) to give testimonies and to refuse from giving testimonies;

8) to give explanations and to refuse from giving explanations;

9) within 12 hours after detention, to notify through the body conducting the criminal trial the close relatives on the place of his/her imprisonment, in the case of foreign citizens, to notify the embassy or the consulate;

10) to present materials for the inclusion into the criminal case;

11) to declare challenges;

12) to declare motions;

13) to object against the actions of the bodies of criminal prosecution and to demand the inclusion of his/her objections into the protocol of investigatory or other procedure actions;

14) to participate in the investigatory and other procedure actions or refuse from participation, if not otherwise prescribed by this Code, upon his/her motion and upon the permission of the body of inquiry, the investigator or the prosecutor personally or through the defense attorney;

15) to get acquainted with the protocols of investigatory and other procedure actions, in which he/she participated, and to issue remarks with respect to the correctness and fullness of the records in the protocol; to demand, during the participation in investigatory and other procedure actions, the inclusion into the protocol of the mentioned actions, the records on the circumstances, which, to his/her opinion had to be mentioned;

16) to be notified by the body, conducting the criminal trial on the adoption of the decisions, connected with the expert assessment and special checking, and upon his/her request to receive also free copies of these decisions;

17) to appeal the actions and the decisions of the bodies of inquiry, the investigator, the prosecutor and, the court;

18) to revoke the appeal filed by him or his lawyer;

19) to receive compensation for the damage, caused unlawfully by the actions of the body, conducting the criminal trial.

3. In case, the suspicion is not confirmed, the suspect has the right to rehabilitation.

4. The implementation by the suspect the rights, belonging to him/her or the refusal from their implementation shall not be interpreted against him/her or cause any unfavorable consequences for him/her. The suspect cannot bear any responsibility for the testimonies and explanations given by him/her, with the exception of the cases, when he/she declared on committing the crime by the person who is not involved in it.

5. The suspect has the following obligations:

1) to appear upon the summon of the body conducting the criminal trial;

2) to be subject to examination, and also to personal search, while detained, upon the demand of the bodies, conducting the criminal trial;

3) to be subjected to medical examination, to dactyloscopy, photography and give possibility for taking a blood sample, body excretions upon the demand of the body, conducting the criminal trial;

4) to be subjected to expert examination upon the demand of the body, conducting the criminal trial;

5) to obey the lawful instructions of the prosecutor, the investigator, the body of inquiry and the judge.

6. The suspect has also other rights and bears other obligations, prescribed by this Code.

7. The rights of the juvenile or incapable suspect are exercised by a legitimate representative thereof, in the manner, prescribed by this Code.

 

Article 64. The Accused

1. The accused is the person, with respect to whom a resolution has been passed on bringing him/her to trial as the accused.

2. The accused, taken to court is named the defendant. The accused, with respect to whom the legal court verdict comes into force is named:

1) the convict, if the verdict is totally or partially a verdict of conviction;

2) the acquitted, if the verdict is totally a verdict of acquittal.

 

Article 65. The Rights and Obligations of the Accused

1. The accused has the right to defense. The body conducting the criminal proceedings, provides the accused with the possibility to implement the right to defense belonging to him/her by all means and ways, not forbidden by law.

2. The accused have the right, in the manner, prescribed by this Code:

1) to know, what is he/she accused of, for the purpose of which at the prosecuting of indictment, and also immediately upon imprisonment or the declaration of selection of the precautionary measure, to receive from the body of criminal prosecution, a free copy of the resolution on the impleading as an accused;

2) after detention, the accused is entitled to to receive from the body of criminal prosecution, the explanations on all rights, belonging to him/her/from, as prescribed by Part 2 of this Article,

3) to have a defense attorney from the moment of indictment, to refuse from the defense attorney and to defend himself/herself;

4) to communicate unhampered with his/her defense attorney tete-a-tete and confidentially without limitation of the number and the length of the conversations;

5) to be interrogated with participation of the defense attorney;

6) to give testimonies and to refuse from giving testimonies, to be cross-examined with people who testified against him;

7) to give explanations and to refuse from giving explanations;

8) to participate in the investigatory and other procedure actions or refuse from participation, if not otherwise prescribed by this Code, upon his/her motion and upon the permission of the body of inquiry, the investigator or the prosecutor, personally or through the defense attorney;

9) within 12 hours after detention, to notify through the body conducting the criminal trial the close relatives on the place of his/her imprisonment, in the case of foreign citizens, to notify the embassy or the consulate;

10) to obtain the materials on the criminal case and to present them for the inclusion into the criminal case and examination;

11) to declare challenges;

12) to declare motions;

13) to declare one's guilt or innocence;

14) to object against the actions of the bodies of criminal prosecution and to demand the inclusion of his/her objections into the protocol of investigatory or other procedure actions;

15) to familiarize himself/herself with the protocols of investigatory and other procedure actions, in which he/she participated or was present, and to issue remarks with respect to the correctness and fullness of the records in the protocol; to demand, during the participation in investigatory and other procedure actions, the inclusion into the protocol of the mentioned actions the records on the circumstances, which, to his/her opinion had to be mentioned; to acquaint himself/herself with the protocol of court session and to bring remarks on it;

16) to acquaint himself/herself, from the moment of completion of preliminary investigation, with the materials of the case, make copies and to write out any data from the case in any volume;

17) to participate in the court session of the court of first instance and the appellate court, to participate in the examination of the materials of the case, and to address the court with speeches and a remarks;

18) to pronounce the last statement in the course of court proceedings;

19) to be notified by the body conducting the criminal proceedings on the adoption of the decisions, connected with the expert assessment and special checking, on prosecution upon him/her the precautionary measures and other measures of procedure compulsion and upon his/her request to receive also the copies of these decisions, to receive free of charge the copy of indictment or final act, the claim, and also the copy of the verdict or other final decisions of the court;

20) to appeal the actions and the decisions of the bodies of inquiry, the investigator, the prosecutor, the court, including the appeal of verdict and other final decisions of the court;

21) to recall any appeal submitted by him/her or his/her defense attorney;

22) to submit objections to the appeals of other participants of the trial, communicated to him/her by the body, during the trial, or known to him/her following other circumstances;

23) to express at the court session his opinion regarding the motions an proposals of other participants of the trial;

24) to protest against unlawful actions of other party;

25) to object to the actions of the presiding person;

26) to receive compensation for the damage, caused unlawfully by the actions of the body conducting the criminal trial.

3. The implementation by the accused of the rights he is entitled to, or the refusal from their implementation shall not be interpreted against him/her or cause any unfavorable consequences for him/her. The accused cannot bear any responsibility for the evidences and explanations given by him/her, with the exception of the cases, when he/she declared on committing the crime by the person obviously not involved in it.

4. The accused has the following obligations:

1) to appear upon the call of the body, conducting the criminal trial;

2) to be subjected to a personal search, while imprisoned, upon the demand of the bodies, conducting the criminal trial;

3) to be subjected to medical examination, to dactyloscopy, photography and give possibility for taking the blood samples, body excretions upon the demand of the body, conducting the criminal trial;

4) to be subjected to expertise and examination upon the demand of the body, conducting the criminal trial;

5) to obey the lawful instructions of the prosecutor, the investigator, the body of inquiry, the judge;

6) not to leave the room of the court session before the declaration of break without permission of the presiding person;

7) to observe order at the court session.

5. The suspect has also other rights and bears other obligations, prescribed by this Code.

6. The rights of the juvenile or incapable suspect are exercised by a legitimate representative thereof, in the manner, prescribed by this Code.

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