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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07YEREVAN406 2007-04-04 13:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Yerevan
Cable title:  

ARMENIA REQUESTS UZBEK HELP TO LOCATE ESCAPED

Tags:   HSTC PHUM PREL PGOV KCRM KWMN SMIG AM 
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VZCZCXRO4367
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHYE #0406 0941306
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 041306Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY YEREVAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5228
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L YEREVAN 000406 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, DRL AND G/TIP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/2017
TAGS: HSTC PHUM PREL PGOV KCRM KWMN SMIG AM
SUBJECT: ARMENIA REQUESTS UZBEK HELP TO LOCATE ESCAPED
TRAFFICKER


Classified By: CDA A. F. Godfrey for reasons 1.4 (b, d).

-------
SUMMARY
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1. (C) The Armenian Police has renewed its request for
assistance from Uzbek law enforcement in locating a convicted
trafficker who escaped from an Armenian prison in early 2006.
The trafficker, Anush Zakharyants, is an ethnic Armenian
citizen of Uzbekistan, who is believed to be hiding in
Samarkand. The GOAM reports that, despite an initial inquiry
in 2006, and follow-up in early April, it has not received a
substantive response from Uzbekistan. We believe the GOAM is
exercising all the options available to it, and remain
hopeful about the outcome of its efforts. END SUMMARY.



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BACKGROUND ON ESCAPE


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2. (C) Zakharyants, one of the first convicted traffickers in
Armenia, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison in June 2004.
She had been convicted of trafficking nine women from
Uzbekistan to Armenia. She was granted a five-day medical
leave of absence from prison in February 2006, in accordance
with Armenian law, however, she did not return to prison.
Following a failed search by the prison, the Kotayk Regional
Procuracy declared Zakharyants wanted on charges of escape
from imprisonment.



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CDA RAISES ISSUE WITH MFA


--------------------------





3. (C) CDA raised the issue with Deputy Foreign Minister
Arman Kirakossian during a March 27 meeting, stressing that
the GOAM should demonstrate its commitment to fighting
trafficking by staying on top of the case. We received a
response from the MFA April 3 noting that the GOAM sent a
letter containing Zakharyants' known addresses in Uzbekistan
to the Uzbek police on July 11, 2006. They have not received
a reply. Shortly after CDA's meeting with Kirakossian, the
Armenian police called the Uzbek side to follow up on the
July 2006 letter, and were told that the Uzbeks would "find
out who was in charge of the case" and call them back. As of
April 4, there was no response. The GOAM told us that
Zakharyants was declared wanted throughout the CIS in May


2006. Though Armenia and Uzbekistan do not have an
extradition treaty, their legal cooperation is regulated
through a 1995 bilateral agreement between their respective
internal affairs ministries and through a 1993 CIS-wide legal
assistance convention.



4. (C) Polchief discussed the issue with staff from the
Prosecutor General's Office during an April 3 lunch. In a
follow up e-mail, prosecutor Louise Manukian told us that, in
the event that Zakharyants' Uzbek citizenship precludes her
extradition, the GOAM will encourage the GOU to prosecute her
in Uzbekistan.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





5. (C) From our perspective, the GOAM took all the necessary
steps to locate Zakharyants following her escape, though they
could have been a bit more diligent in following up with the
Uzbeks. This investigative malaise, however, is not limited
to trafficking cases; in fact, Armenian law enforcement
routinely let cases lie fallow. We are pleased with the
MFA's quick and substantive response following CDA's meeting
with the deputy foreign minister, and are hopeful that the
government's renewed efforts to engage Uzbek law enforcement
will bear fruit in the search for Zakharyants.
GODFREY