'I have worked in over 50 developing states. However this was a unique experience and maybe useful or of interest for any foreigner without Armenian family relations', says Hans Boon, the director general of HayPost CJSC, in a letter to ArmInfo.
'In this message I would like to provide you with some of the facts and backgrounds and experience regarding the two violent attacks, because I am really surprised about the observation that I did not provide any statement to the Police. The opposite could also be said. I have received other similar comments and therefore I hope to clarify this. I have definitely no objection if you provide this statement to the Police and other official investigators. I do not know how to reach them and in fact have delivered information', Boon says.
Further in the letter, Hans Boon tells: 'The attack on 10 October 2008 took place in the late evening. The violent, and possibly quick, attack must have been organized very well- probably from the back. The attack included about 5 or more severe beatings on different places of my head. It must be stated only on my head, no other places of the body. The attack has resulted in loss of memory of that moment, in combination with the loss of conscience for about 12 hours.
Consequently I do not know or do not remember who the assailant was and how it was done. It must be stated however that it was not a medical issue, like a heart attack. After the assault I must have fallen down on the street, and nearby living inhabitants are said to have made a call to Police or Hospital to report that a heavily wounded or death corpse was found on the street. The Hospital car or ambulance came and both the doctors and a police officer made an analysis, confirming that it was the result of a criminal attack but also noting that my body was alive. A colleague of HayPost was also alarmed, possibly by me in one of the moments awake.
The next day around noon I regained more normal conscience and also better memory. Most of the above between the assault and recuperation of conscience has been told to me.
The hospital St. Grigor Lusavorich charged more than AMD 400,000/Euro 1100 for the 1 night stay and research, and explained that it charges to foreigners five times the rate to Armenians.
The hospital looked in a very poor condition and therefore it was decided to leave it and to rest in the apartment. The hospital had partially undressed me and I received my clothes back. I noticed that the wallet was not there anymore.
The wallet had in cash an equivalent of around AMD 400,000 - partially in Armenian Dram [around AMD 200,000], Russian Rouble, US Dollars and Euros, in addition several creditcards [not bankcards] , and a European Union ID Card and a special card for the Amsterdam International Airport. It is not clear whether the wallet has disappeared or fallen out of the clothes in the hospital or the ambulance, but most likely it has been stolen as part of the attack.
In any case, since then I have requested via the HayPost company lawyer, a Mr Arayk Abrahayan for a police report,. This has been requested orally, by email and by telephone to him and other colleagues more than 15 times The request has eventually also been reported to the Minister of the Economy .
The issue is that without such report on the police observation and notification, the process in The Netherlands with the Insurance companies, the Credit card companies and the official authorities issuing IDs is very difficult and that brings additional damages of 1000s of Euros to me.
However, a request to communicate with the police and to obtain the report remains unanswered by the Armenian side. In stead I was informed via an other colleague that the Police had called the Chief Company Lawyer, [ex CBA] about 20 days after the assault, i.e. early November 2008. It means when I was already in The Netherlands.
The Police had asked him to request me to appear at the Police Station. The colleagues reported that the Company Lawyer stated that I refused. Subsequently the Police is said to have stated that I would be imprisoned to ensure my availability for the interrogation. This was very shocking information.
Subsequently the Police have been visited on 11 November by the colleague, Mr A Khachaturyan, who also was during the night or morning of the assault in the hospital. He is said to have made a 3 page statement clarifying the details situation as above described, although I do not have any written evidence from the Police or via the lawyers. It was also stated that the Police had requested that I need to provide all my clothes that I had during the attack. That request came also in the first half of November 2008 and the Police must also have known from the reports that the assault was entirely focused on the head, with 5 or more beatings and not on other places of the body. It is has remained unclear why the Police is said to have made that request at that time. Most of the clothes have been cleaned, washed and or used after the attack, and it is unclear what the Police expects to find that long after the attack, however it would mean for me another expense of more than Euro 1000 in loss of clothes and transportation costs. The clothes taken of the first assault in July 2008 have also not been returned.
It has also been stated that more colleagues were planned to be interrogated, such as a driver and a (daytime) security guard, company assistant and housekeeper. According to a newspaper this has happened, most likely in the first of half of November. I am not informed about this and have no report, but read in the internet news that it was stated that most of the persons mentioned that they do not know my private life. It would have been correct to state that there is practically no private life, except from a dinner in a restaurant and a visit to shops or a walk on the streets during the weekend..
I should mention that I have never received a request from the Police, only heard about it via colleagues and these requests were never in a non-Armenian language and as far as requests were received or noted it has been responded to but none of the requests known to me refer to details of the assault and circumstances.
All kind requests from my side via Armenian legal staff to provide to me a written police confirmation of the attack and theft remain unanswered.
The following questions and impressions appear: Why does the police start an investigation more than 20 days after the attack, that could have resulted in death, therefore an attempt-to-murder case, and what is the quality and depth of the investigation. One of the media reported that the Police needs a Court decision in order to be allowed to investigate the possibility of a combination between the two attacks- why?
The first Assault on the evening of 12 July 2008 which was a so-called hooliganism attack by 2 persons first attempting to hit by car me twice and subsequently by beating in a way that it would have resulted in death, has lead to a verdict in November 2008. One of the persons will walk free in Yerevan early 2009 and the other a bit later early 2009. The case was also a special experience.
It started for my Dutch colleague and me with heavy wounds , including bleeding. The Police initially refused to arrange First Aid, and when an Armenian colleague was able to intervene after nearly 2 hours of bleeding in the Police Station, the Police prohibited and called a Ambulance. The First Aid treatment resulted in 2 days hospitalization due to the heavy wounds. Then, friendly police officers came to visit after treatment. They were asked how the criminal prosecution would proceed. Initially they started laughing and after the smile they explained that the normal Armenian way is that there is no prosecution but that the family representatives will approach us with an offer. This scared us and we requested how we can ensure our security, because we are not interested in such an approach.
Subsequently the Trust Founder to whom we report, tried to promote the intermediation in such a typical Armenian approach. It was however understood that we expected that the Rule of Law should prevail.
The Police insisted on several hearings/interviews, in total more than 30 hours have been by each of us spent with the police to repeat every time the details of that assault of less than 7 minutes. All statements have been interpreted by a qualified interpreter and have been written manually by the Police. Initially none of the statements, neither ours nor those of the attackers were accessible. At the end of September we learned from the Netherlands Ambassador that a file with more than 450 pages had been prepared. On our request, via the Company lawyer, on documentation, no answer has been provided. We also heard that the scheduled Court session of early October was postponed to November because it was said not be convenient for the barristers of the two who attacked us. We received a 10 line message on the final outcome of the court session from the lawyer and also a confirmation that the damages claimed had been paid. The impression is that the lawyer, in my absence, had been instructed to "prioritize" other activities, but this is an impression.
The Netherlands Minister of Justice officially complained in July 2008 about the police treatment of its 2 citizens, keeping them nearly 2 hours wounded and without first aid in a police station. It is said that the Armenian side has investigated and responded to the Ambassador that the Dutch statements are not (completely) true and that the First Aid was arranged rapidly. There has been no excuse for this type of treatment from the official Armenian side.
The impression is that the first attack is not done and executed by the same persons as the second attack. It is also not possible to form evidence whether the two attacks were organized by a higher level of politically and economically interested parties. The Head of Police should have received a letter from me, but no response and also I do not know how to reach him.
This all represents a unique experience and maybe useful or of interest for any foreigner without Armenian family relations'.