Search and seizure - national proceedings


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




Article 225. Grounds for conducting search

The investigator, having sufficient ground to suspect that in some premises or in some other place or in possession of some person, there are instruments of crime, articles and valuables acquired by criminal way, as well as other items or documents, which can be significant for the case, conducts a search in order to find and take the latter.
The search can also be conducted to find searched-for persons and corpses. The search is conducted only by a court decree.

Article 226. Grounds for seizure

When necessary to take articles and documents significant for the case, and provided it is known for sure where they find themselves and in whose possession, the investigator conducts seizure.
The seizure of documents which contain state secrets is conducted only by permission of the prosecutor and in agreement with the administration of the given institution.
No enterprise, institution or organization, no official or citizen has the right to refuse to give the investigator the articles, documents or their copies which he would demand.

Article 227. Persons present at search and seizure

Search and seizure is done in the presence of attesting witnesses.
When necessary, an interpreter and an expert take part in the search and seizure.
When performing search and seizure, one must provide the presence of the person or the full-age members of his family where the search or seizure is conducted. If their presence is impossible, the representative of the apartment maintenance office or local administration is invited.
Search and seizure at the premises owned by enterprises, institution, organizations and military units is done in the presence of their representative.
The persons whose premises are searched and whose items are seized, as well as the attesting witnesses, experts, interpreters, representatives, lawyers are entitled to be present during all actions of the investigator, make statements which must be recorded in the protocol.

Article 228. Procedure of search and seizure

Based on search or seizure warrant, the investigator is entitled to enter apartments or other buildings.
Prior to the search or seizure the investigator must familiarize the searched person or the one from whom seizure is done, with the warrant about which a signature is taken from the latter.
When conducting a search the investigator or the expert can use technical devices about which a record is made in the search protocol.
The investigator is obliged to take measures not to publicize the fact of the search and seizure, as well as their results and the facts of the private life of the searched person. The investigator is entitled to prohibit the persons present at the search or seizure site to leave the site, as well as prohibit communication between each other until the investigatory actions are over.
When conducting a seizure, after presenting and announcing the warrant, the investigator proposes to hand over the articles and documents subject to seizure of one's own accord, in case of refusal, compulsory seizure is done. If the searched-for articles are not discovered at the place indicated in the warrant, by discretion of the investigator and by court decree, a search can be conducted.
When conducting a search, after presenting and announcing the decree, the investigator proposes to hand over the articles and documents or the hiding person subject to seizure. If the latter are handed over of one's own accord, this is recorded in the protocol. If the searched for items and documents are not handed over or are handed over partially, or the hidden person does not surrender, a search is conducted.
All taken items and documents are presented to the participants of investigatory actions, are described in detail in the protocol and when necessary, are sealed with the investigator's seal.
When conducting a search and seizure the investigator is entitled to open closed premises and warehouses, if their owner refuses to open the latter of his own accord. One must avoid from damaging locks, doors and other objects without necessity.

Article 229. Personal search

When conducting searches in the premises, in case of sufficient grounds, the investigator is entitled to conduct personal search and take items and documents possessed by the person at whose premises the investigatory actions are conducted, found in his personal effects, clothes or on the body which can have probatory value.
Personal search can be conducted without warrant in the following cases:
1) when arresting the suspect, and bringing him to the police or other law enforcement institution;
2) when using arrest as a measure to secure the appearance of the suspect or the accused;
3) when there are sufficient grounds to suspect that the person in the given premises where the search is made, may conceal documents or other items which have probatory value for the case.
Personal search can be conducted by the investigator, with the expert and attesting witness, provided they are of the same sex as the searched person.

Article 230. Search and seizure protocol

When the search and seizure are over, the investigator writes an appropriate protocol which must indicate the place where invastigatory actions were conducted, the time, the considerations, whether the searched for items and persons were surrendered of one's own accord, the name, surname, position of the person who conducted the search, the names, surnames and addresses of attesting witnesses, as well as the surnames, position and the legal status of other participants of the search.
All the seized articles must be indicated in the protocol of investigatory activities, mentioning their quantity, size, weight, individual features and other peculiarities.
If attempts were made to eliminate or hide the revealed articles or documents during investogatory actions, this fact is indicated in the protocol.
The investigator is obliged to familiarize all participants of investigatory actions with the protocol and they are entitled to demand for their comments to be incorporated in the protocol.

Article 231. The mandatory presentation of the copy of the search and seizure protocol

The copy of the search and seizure protocol with a signature is presented to the person in whose premises the invastigatory actions had been conducted or to the full-age members of his family, and in case of their absence, to the representative of the apartment maintenance office in whose area the investigatory actions were conducted.
If the search or seizure were done in the territory of an enterprise, institution, organization or military unit, the copy of the protocol is presented to their representatives.


Article 232. Arrest of property

Arrest of property is practiced as a remedy to secure property in civil claim and to prevent possible seizure and for coverage of court expenses.
Arrest of property is imposed on the property of the suspect and the accused as well as those persons whose actions can cause financial responsibility, regardless who posses what property.
The arrest of property commonly shared by spouses or the family is imposed on the part owned by the accused. In case of sufficient evidence that the commonly shared property increased or was acquired in a criminal way, the arrest can be imposed on the whole property of the spouses or the family or on a larger part of it.
Seizure can not be imposed on the property which according to law can not be seized.

Article 233. Grounds for arrest of property

Arrest of property can be applied by the bodies conducting criminal proceedings only in the case when the materials collected for the case provide sufficient ground to suspect that the suspect, the accused or other person who has the property, can hide, spoil or consume the property, which is liable to seizure.
Arrest of property is carried out based on the decree of the investigating body, the investigator or the prosecutor.
The decision on the seizure of property must indicate the property subject to seizure, the value of the property based on which it sufficient to impose arrest to secure the civil claim and court expenses.
When necessary, if there is a grounded suspicion, that the property will not be surrendered for seizure of one's own accord, the prosecutor appeals to the court for a search permission, as established in this Code.

Article 234. Valuation of the property to be arrested

The value of property to be arrested is determined at market prices.
The value of the property which is arrested as provision for civil claim or court expenses initiated by the prosecutor or civil plaintiff, must be adequate to the amount of the claim. When determining the portion of property to be arrested from a number of accused or persons responsible for the actions of the latter, the degree of participation in the crime is taken into account, however, to provide a civil claim, the property of one of the relevant persons can be seized in full amount.

Article 235. Procedure of implementation of the decree for property arrest

The investigation body, the investigator or the prosecutor hand over the property arrest decree to the property owner or the manager and demands the submission of property. When the demand is rejected, an enforced seizure is done.
After the end preliminary investigation, by court ruling, the marshall of the court implements the arrest of property.
When imposing property arrest, when possible, an expert in commodity is involved who determines its approximate value.
The owner or the manager of the property is entitled to decide which articles or valuable items should be seized first to provide for the amount indicated in the property arrest decree.
The investigating body, the investigator or the prosecutor write a protocol on property arrest and the court marshall compiles other documents envisaged in law. The protocol (document) enumerates the whole seized property, accurately indicating the name, quantity, means, weight, degree of wear and tear, other individual features and when possible its value; it indicates what property was seized and what property was left for keeping, the seized property is described, the statements of present persons about the ownership of other people.
The copy of the appropriate protocol (document) with a signature is handed over to the owner or manager of the seized property, and in case of their absence, to the full-age members of their family, to the apartment maintenance office or local self-government representative. When seizing the property of an enterprise, institution or organization, the copy of the appropriate protocol (document) with signature is given to the administration representative.

Article 236. The preservation of seized property

Except real estate and large-sized items, other seized property as a rule is taken away. Precious metals and stones, diamonds, foreign currency, cheques, securities and lottery tickets are handed for safe keeping to the Treasury of the Republic of Armenia, cash is paid to the deposit account of the court which has jurisdiction over this case, other taken items are sealed and kept at the body which made a decision to seize the property or is given for safe keeping to the apartment maintenance office or local self-government representative.
The arrested property that has not been taken away is sealed and kept with the owner or manager of the property or his full-age members of his family who are advised as to their legal responsibility for spoiling or alienation of this property, for which they undersign.

Article 237. Appeals against arrest of property

The property seizure decree can be appealed against to the prosecutor, however, the submitted complaint does not prevent the execution of the decision.

Article 238. Release of property from seizure by criminal proceedings

The property is released from seizure by criminal proceedings ruling if as a result of recalling of the civil action, the qualification of the criminal act incriminated to the suspect or the accused has changed, and the necessity to seize property disappeared.
By petition of the civil plaintiff or other interested party, who are inclined to claim the property through civil proceedings, the court is entitled to preserve the imposed property seizure also after the end of criminal proceedings, within a month.

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:

(h) The execution of searches and seizures;