Armenian aide lambasts Georgian way of fighting corruption

Aravot, Yerevan, in Armenian
10 Mar 04 p 3

Armenian aide lambasts Georgian way of fighting corruption

The Armenian president’s adviser, Bagrat Yesayan, who is engaged in
drawing up an anti-corruption policy, criticizes methods of fighting
corruption in Georgia.

[Aravot correspondent] One may fight corruption in the same way as
Armenia is doing it now, i.e. to plan and organize hearings; or in
the same way as Georgia is doing it: to institute proceedings and
arrest those officials whose abuses and bribery are evident. Why do
you prefer only the “Armenian” option for fighting corruption, i.e.
the organization of discussions?

[Bagrat Yesayan] First, there are not only two types of the fight
against corruption, there are many options. But there is a principle
accepted by the Council of Europe that the fight against corruption
should be comprehensive and include preventive measures,
investigation and punishment. I think that in Armenia, the fight
should mainly be comprehensive and should take place in these three

[Correspondent] Does it mean that you think that only the punitive
direction has been accepted in Georgia? A representative of the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun [ARFD] said that a
country cannot be built in such a way. Why?

[Yesayan] Because I think that by taking only punitive measures, we
shall miss the first two very important options for the fight.
Corruption is a public disease and if we fight only the consequences
of the disease without taking preventive measures, we shall not
achieve any success in that case. And not only Armenia understands
this, it is a long-standing practice accepted in European countries,
and the Council of Europe has established this in its 20 principles.

[Correspondent] Don’t you think that punishing people for corruption,
as is the case in Georgia, will be the best preventive measure for

[Yesayan] I don’t think so.

[Passage omitted: Various punitive measures in different countries,
including in the Soviet Union]

And I am sure that if Georgia follows the same direction, taking only
punitive measures, they will not be able to overcome bribery as the
system will not change, only people will be replaced.

[Correspondent] Doesn’t your approach contradict the position of
Dashnaktsutyun, which, as part of the authorities, named a number of
former officials during a meeting, accused them of abuses and
demanded that they should answer and be punished?

[Yesayan] No, there is no contradiction. This is the Dashnaks’
approach. I am not aware of the names named during the meeting as I
was not in Armenia at the time. I do not know the context of the
statement, but I suppose that they spoke about political
responsibility. Ask the party about this.

[Passage omitted: Yesayan speaks of his functions as a presidential