Tree Felling by Foresters: Officials in Charge of Forest Preservation Will Be Held Liable

Tree Felling by Foresters: Officials in Charge of Forest Preservation Will Be Held Liable

On March 5, 2021, the forester of Vahagn forestry, Vanadzor branch of "ArmForest" SNCO in the territory of the forest illegally cut down oak trees using a chainsaw as RA Prosecutor's Office informs.

According to A Prosecutor's Office, the forester took the timber to Vahagni village with his brother and friend in a Zil car of one of the villagers, where he sold it to a villager for 50,000 AMD. The illegal logging, procurement, and transportation in this case was carried out not only with the knowledge and permission of the forester of the Vahagn forestry, but also with his assistance.

Article 296 of RA Criminal Code provides for liability for illegal felling of trees, shrubs and vegetation only in case of causing damage in the amount exceeding one hundred times the minimum wage. The damage caused in this case was 82,260 AMD. In other words, it turned out that H's act did not contain the crime envisaged by the mentioned article, but he committed a deliberate offense - illegal logging, which is subject to discussion in the scope of Article 66 of RA Code on Administrative Offenses.

It should be noted that in 2021 Lori Regional Prosecutor's Office submitted 31 petitions to the relevant bodies to take disciplinary measures to prevent the officials in charge of forest preservation from defaulting on their duties or improperly performing then, committing non-criminal acts and committing similar criminal acts. As a result, various disciplinary sanctions were imposed on 5 persons, while the others are still under discussion.

At the same time, in case of illegal deforestation, 22 criminal cases were initiated by the regional prosecutor's office on the facts of official negligence committed by the competent officials in charge of forest protection and prevention of forest violations. Through the preliminary investigation carried out by them, measures are taken to give legal assessments to the actions of the relevant officials.

April 21, 2021 at 14:48