Taking of evidence - national proceedings


Armenia - Criminal Procedure Code (EN) 1998 (2016)




Article 125. Collection of evidence

1. Evidence shall be collected in the process of inquiry, preliminary investigation and court proceeding by carrying out investigatory and trial proceedings provided by this Code.




Article 239. Monitoring of correspondence, mail, telegrams and other communications

When there are sufficient grounds to believe that there is probatory value data in the mail or other correspondence, mail, telegrams and other communications (referred to below as correspondence) sent by the suspect or the accused or to them by other persons, the investigator can make a grounded decision to impose monitoring on the correspondence of these people.
The decision must indicate the name of the post office which is responsible for withholding of the correspondence, the name(s), surname(s) of the person(s) whose correspondence will be withheld, the accurate address of these persons, type of correspondence which is monitored and the period of monitoring.
The correspondence which can be arrested, in particular, concerns the following items: letters, telegrams, radiograms, parcels (printed matter), cases, post containers, transmissions, fax and e-mail messages.
Decision on the monitoring of correspondence is sent to the appropriate post office director for whom it is mandatory.
The director of the post office withholds the correspondence indicated in the decision of the investigator and advises the latter about that.
The monitoring of correspondence is lifted by the investigator, prosecutor or court which took the decision.

Article 240. Examination and seizure of correspondence

The investigator familiarizes the director of the post office, and when necessary, other employees of the given office, with the seizure decree, with subscription, and with participation of selected attested witnesses from the employees of the office, opens up and examines the correspondence.
When revealing documents and items which can be significant for the case, the investigator seizes the appropriate articles or confines himself to copying them. In case of absence of data which can be significant for the case, the investigator instructs to hand the examined correspondence to the addressee or to withhold it within the established period.
A protocol is written about each case of examination or withholding which indicates: by whom, where, when and exactly what correspondence was withheld or examined, why it was withheld, what should be handed over to the addressee or temporarily withheld, what correspondence it was copied from, what technical means were used and what was revealed in the given case. All persons who participated in the investigatory actions must be familiarized with the protocol which they confirm with their signatures and when necessary, are entitled to incorporate their comments into the protocol.

Article 241. Supervision over conversation

If there are sufficient grounds to suspect that the telephone conversations of the suspect or the accused or the conversations conducted by other means of communication can contain significant information for the case, the court makes a decision to permit the supervision and recording of these conversations.
The investigator makes a grounded decision on initiating an application to the court, which indicates the criminal case and grounds on which the appropriate investogatory actions must be taken, the surnames and names of the persons whose conversations are subject to supervision, the supervision period, institution which is instructed to conduct the technical implementation of supervision and recording. The decree is forwarded to the court.
In case of approval by the judge, the conversation supervision and recording decision is forwarded by the investigator to the appropriate institution for implementation. Conversation supervision and recording can be limited by no longer than six months. They are lifted when the necessity for them is over, but in any case, no later than the end of the preliminary investigation.
The investigator is entitled to demand the record at any time for examination and listening within the established period. The record is handed to the investigator in the sealed form with an accompanying letter which must indicate the time of beginning and end of the record of conversations, and necessary technical description of used devices. Examination and listening of records by the investigator is done in the presence of attesting witnesses, and when necessary, experts, about which a protocol is written, which
must literally reproduce the part of the conversation concerning the case. The record is attached to the protocol, and the irrelevant part of it is eliminated after the court verdict becomes res judicata or suspension of the case.




Article 242. Investigatory experimentation

In order to check and clarify the information relevant for the case that can be checked by experiments and other investigatory tests, the investigator is entitled to conduct investigatory experimentation.
When performing investigatory experimentation, attesting witnesses must be present. When necessary, the investigator can make the suspect, the accused, the witness, expert, the physician and other persons participants of the investigatory experimentation. The investigator is entitled to use technical means.
Investigatory experimentation is allowed if in the given case it is not dangerous for human life and health, human self-esteem does not suffer, no financial losses are caused.
A protocol about the investigatory experimentation is written which describes in detail the reasons for and results of the experimentation. The protocol indicates the use of technical means. All participants of investigatory actions familiarize themselves with the protocol, they confirm it with their signatures and are entitled to incorporate their comments into it. Plans, schemes, drawings as well as the results of the use of technical means are attached to the protocol.


Article 243. Grounds for appointing and implementation of expert examination

Expert examination is implemented based on the decree of the body conducting the investigation, the investigator, the prosecutor, when to reveal circumstances relevant to the criminal case, the knowledge of science, technology, arts or crafts, including the knowledge of specialized expert examination methods, is necessary. The possession of special knowledge by the investigator, the prosecutor, the specialists, the attesting witnesses is not an exemption from the necessity to appoint examination in appropriate cases.

Article 244. Decree on expert examination

The investigating body decrees the conducting of expert examination; the decree must indicate: the grounds for the examination, the exhibits sent for expert examination, and other articles, indicating when, where and in what circumstances they were discovered or acquired, and when conducting an expert examination for the criminal case, indicating information on which the conclusions of the expert can be based, questions asked to the expert, the name of the expert institution or the person's surname who was instructed to conduct the expert examination.

Article 245. Single-person and committee expert examinations

Complicated or repeated expert examinations can be conducted by a single person or by committee of experts. At the request of the parties, experts invited by them must be included into the committee. In case of achieving unified opinion, the experts sign the conclusion. In case of differences, each expert writes a separate conclusion on all differences or those, which caused disagreement.
The decree on conducting an commission expert examination is mandatory for the administration of the expert institution. If the expert examination is delegated to an expert institution without the requirement to conduct a commission examination, its director is entitled to conduct a committee expert examination.

Article 246. Integrated expert examination

If the clarification of some issue in the criminal case is possible only through a various examinations based on methods and disciplines of different sciences or different fields of one science, an integrated examination must be appointed.
Based on the totality of facts clarified through the integrated expert examination, the experts within their scientific authority make conclusions on the issues which were supposed to be clarified during this examination.
The expert has no right to sign the part of the integrated expert examination which does not belong to his scientific authority.
If the examination is delegated to an expert institution without the requirement of integrated examination, the head of the institution is entitled to organize integrated examinations.

Article 247. The rights of the injured, the suspect and the accused during appointment and implementation of expert examination
When expert examination is appointed, the injured, the suspect and the accused are entitled:
1) prior to examination, to familiarize themselves with the investigator's decree on examination, and get an explanation of their rights, about which a protocol is compiled;
2) to challenge the competence of the expert;
3) to appeal for appointment of the expert from the list proposed by him;
4) in case of disagreement with the expert's conclusion, to appeal for an additional or repeated examination;
5) to suggest additional questions to the expert;
6) by permission of the investigator, to be present at the implementation of the examination;
7) to give explanations to the expert;
8) no later than 10 days after the receipt of the expert conclusion by the investigator, to familiarize oneself with the expert conclusion;
9) to participate in the expert investigation initiated by his own appeal.
The above mentioned rights also extend to the person who is liable to enforced medical measures, if the mental condition of the latter allows.

Article 248. Expert examination conducted in an expert institution

The investigator forwards his decree on examination, the examined object and when necessary, the criminal case to the head of the expert institution. The examination is conducted by the expert indicated in the decree. If no expert is specifically mentioned in the decree, the head of the expert institution must decide which expert from the given institution will conduct the examination, informs the appointed person about that.
The head of the expert institution familiarizes the expert with Article 85 of this Code about his rights and duties, warns him about the responsibility for refusal or evasion from expert conclusion, or for giving obviously false conclusion, organizes the implementation of the examination, provides the safe-keeping of examined objects, determines the deadline for the examination. The head of the expert institution has no right to give instructions to the expert which would pre-determine the course and essence of the examination.

Article 249. Implementation of expert examination outside expert institution

If the examination is conducted outside expert institution, the investigator after making a decision on expert examination summons the person who was instructed to conduct the investigation, ascertains the identity and accessibility of the latter, clarifies the relations of the expert with the suspect, the accused, the injured person and other participants of the proceedings and checks whether there are grounds for challenging the qualification of the expert.
The expert is handed the examination decree by the person who appointed the examination, the latter familiarizes the expert with Article 85 of this Code about his rights and duties, warns him about the responsibility for refusal or evasion from expert conclusion, or for giving obviously false conclusion. The investigator writes a protocol about the implementation of these actions, which is signed by the expert and confirmed by the investigator. The protocol also indicates the statements made by the expert and his petitions. In case of rejection of the expert's request, the person who appointed the examination makes a grounded decision.
The person who appointed the examination is obliged to provide the presentation of the expert to the accused, the suspect, the injured party and witness when necessity arises to examine their body or mental condition, if their participation in the examination is necessary.

Article 250. The expert's conclusion

When necessary examinations are over, the expert compiles a written conclusion, confirms it with his signature and forwards it to the person who appointed the examination. The expert's conclusion must indicate: when, where, by whom (name, surname, patronymic, education, profession, professional experience, degree and tittle, position) and on what basis the examination was conducted, that the expert is aware of the criminal responsibility for refusal or evasion from expert conclusion, or for giving obviously false conclusion, who participated, what materials of the criminal case were used by the expert, what exhibits, samples and other objects were examined, what kind of examinations were conducted, what methods were used, grounded answers to the given questions, the issues relevant for the case which were revealed by initiative of the expert.
The examined exhibits, samples and other materials must be attached to the expert's conclusion, as well as the photographs and schemes supporting the conclusions of the expert.
The expert's conclusion must contain a grounding about the impossibility of answering to all or some suggested questions, if the presented materials or the special knowledge of the expert proved insufficient during the examination.

Article 251. Additional and repeated examination

If the person in charge of the investigation, the investigator, the prosecutor disagree with the expert's conclusion, for reasons of insufficient clarity or incompleteness, an additional examination can be appointed, delegating it to the same or some other expert.
Repeated examination is done when the expert's conclusion is ungrounded or raises suspicion, or the evidences on which it was based were recognized invalid, or the procedural rules of examination were breached. Repeated examination is delegated to another expert. When appointing repeated examination, the issue of justification of the methods applied during the previous examination can be raised before the expert. The decree on repeated examination must indicate the motives of disagreement with the results of the previous examination. The experts who conducted the previous examination can be present at the repeated examination, give clarifications, however, they do not participate in the examination and writing the conclusion.

Article 252. Interrogation of the expert

If the conclusions of the expert are not sufficiently clear, and contain gaps, to fill which additional examination is not necessary, or there is a need to clarify the applied methods and used terminology, the investigator is entitled to interrogate the expert, observing the requirements in Articles 205, 206 and 209 of this Code.
The expert is not allowed to be interrogated prior to the presentation of his conclusions.


Article 253. Grounds to acquire samples

The investigator is entitled to obtain samples describing the specific features of a human being, corpse, animal, substance and other objects, provided their examination is significant for the case.
The investigator adopts a justified decree on the acquisition of samples in which the following must be indicated: the recipient of the samples, who shall provide the sample, in what amount and specifically what samples must be received, when and where the person should go to collect the samples, where and to whom the samples are presented after acquisition.
When necessary, the investigator can obtain samples with participation of an expert or specialist.

Article 254. Types of samples The following can serve as samples:

1) blood, sperm, hair, fingernail clippings, microscopic skin scrubbings;
2) saliva, sweat, and other secretion;
3) patterns of skin prints, moulds of teeth and extremities;
4) handwriting, signature, and other materials reflecting human skills;
5) audio records;
6) experimental samples of finished products, raw materials, substances;
7) weapons, cartridges, bullets, cartridge cases;
8) other materials and items.
It is prohibited to obtain samples by methods causing torturing to the human being or threatening health or corporeal integrity.

Article 255. Sample acquisition procedure

The investigator invites the person or visits the latter, takes a signature certifying the familiarization with the sample collection decree, explains the rights and duties to the person, the specialists, the attesting witnesses.
With participation of the specialist, if the former was invited in the presence of attesting witnesses, the investigator conducts necessary actions and obtains the samples. All samples except documents are packaged and sealed.
In appropriate cases sample collection is conducted by means of search or seizure or at the same time with these actions.

Article 256. Sample collection protocol

After collection of samples the investigator writes a protocol which describes all sample collection activities in the same sequence in which they were carried out, used scientific and technical methods, and the obtained samples.
The obtained samples are attached to the protocol.



Article 479. Implementation of the application for the continuation of criminal prosecution or initiation of criminal prosection

The application of the appropriate institution of the foreign country concerning the crime committed by a citizen of the Republic of Armenia in the foreign country who returned to Armenia, for further investigation, is considered by the procuracy of the Republic of Armenia. In such cases, the preliminary investigation of the case and trial is done as envisaged in the procedure of this Code.
The evidences received while conducting the investigation in a foreign country, within his jurisdiction, by the authorized official, in the case of continuation of the investigation in the Republic of Armenia, have equal legal rights with all other evidences.
The authorized body in the Republic of Armenia can initiate a criminal case and investigate that, prior to the initiation of the criminal case by the appropriate bodies in the foreign country where a citizen of the Republic of Armenia committed a crime and then returned to this country.

Rome Statute

Article 93 Other forms of cooperation

1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:

(b) The taking of evidence, including testimony under oath, and the production of evidence, including expert opinions and reports necessary to the Court;