#66, 2002-04-10 | #67, 2002-04-11 | #68, 2002-04-12


Armenian law enforcement bodies had revealed 37 cases of bribery, 52 cases of official forgery and 58 cases of power abuse in 2001, a senior official of the Armenian interior ministry said today during round table discussion, organized by an organization of journalists called Anti-Shadow, Armenpress news agency reported.

Mikael Grigorian, head of a department at the ministry, however, admitted that the real volumes of corruption and power abuse are much bigger. Armenian law-enforcement agencies continue use the Criminal Code, passed in 1961, which, according to the official, despite being more than 40 years old, provides for enough legislation to fight against corruption.

The new Criminal Code, still being elaborated, is set to provide more specific definition of corruption, which will to a certain extent facilitate the work of law enforcement agencies, but "it would not be manna to eliminate corruption," Grigorian said.

The official downplayed a widely spread opinion that interior and justice ministries ate the most corrupted state bodies. "Huge sums of money are plundered in other echelons," he said. Once again in a reference to the most effective ways for launching a crackdown on corruption Grigorian said first of all desire, decisiveness and consistency on behalf of relevant officials was needed. Another factor, helping corruption thrive is that many Armenians believe that they can settle their problems with the help of bribes. The last but not least factor to successfully fight against corruption is the mass media. "Corrupted officials are most of all afraid of being revealed," he said.

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