Of the five individuals charged with supplying the Artskah Defense Army with buffalo meat instead of beef in 2012, only one was convicted in a September 18 verdict by the Syunik Provincial Court.
Albert Ohandjanyan, managing director of “A. Ohandjanyan LLC” was sentenced to four years conditional imprisonment on the charge of “Swindling, i.e. theft in significant amount or appropriation of somebody's property rights by cheating or abuse of confidence”.
The other four individuals convicted included a lieutenant colonel in charge of the Artsakh Defense Army’s main supply depot, a major who served as his assistant, a non-commissioned officer at the depot, and a lieutenant colonel in charge of the army’s department of provisions.
These four had been charged with “Negligent attitude to military service by a commander or official, causing substantial damage.” Except for the lieutenant colonel in charge of the department of provisions, all were relieved of duty and discharged.
In the pre-trial investigation it was revealed that Ohandjanyan had signed a contract in 2010 to provide the Artsakh Army with live large-horned animals which were later to be slaughtered by his company. The meat was then to be packaged and kept deep frozen.
This contract obligated to provide the army with 1,162 tons of meat at a value of two million AMD. It turns out that 82 tons were buffalo meat briquettes from India. The appraised loss to the Artsakh Ministry of Defense was 126.9 million AMD.
Ohandjanyan was arrested on August 29, 2012 and charged two days later.
In court, Ohandjanyan plead guilty and he later compensated the ministry for the losses it incurred.
Taking this into account, and the fact that Ohandjanyan hadn’t been convicted before, the court sentenced him to four years, the minimum allowed by law, and then changed it to a conditional sentence.