US Consultant Apologizes to Minister

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Robert Green–representing the Utah-based Anglia Consulting company–apologized to Armenia’s former minister of communications Grigor Poghpatian for alleging that he took bribes worth up to $50 million during the ArmenTel deal.

Talking to Noyan Tapan–Green explained that he had learned about Poghpatian’s alleged involvement in fraud at the time when ArmenTel deal was being implemented by Vahram Soghomonian–the former director general of ArmenTel who fled Armenia in late May of last year–and Eric Arno Vigen–ArmenTel’s former vice-president of finance who fled Armenia on March 30 of last year.

"Thus–if Soghomonian and Vigen perjured themselves in their reports to me about TWT paymen’s to former Armenian Government officials–then I owe Mr. Grigor Poghpatian a deep apology for believing Soghomonian and Vigen and reporting to the press what they had told me," said Green.

The American consultant also said that seriously erroneous information was also the result of a major translation error at the press conference two weeks ago. Asked to cite the sum TWT had paid to Armenian Government officials from 1994 to 1998–Green said–again quoting Soghomonian and Vigen–that TWT had paid approximately $15 million from 1994 to 1998 and not $50 million as was reported in the press.

Both Soghomonian and Vigen told Green that much of the indicated sum of money–except that paid directly to ArmenTel officers and key employees–was funneled through Poghpatian–whom Green has never officially met.

Green said he had delivered to the US Department of Justice a substantial amount of correspondence from Soghomonian to and from TWT discussing paymen’s to Armenia–plus bank transfer records he had obtained.

When TWT is indicted for violation of the US Unfair Practices Act–those documen’s will be key evidence. The case is expected to be heard in the US later this year.

According to Green–no Armenian currently living in Armenia will be involved in the trial–but Soghomonian–who is now living in the US–will be a key witness. Also Vigen–Hon Downey–Berrier and TWT’s Accountant Robert Smart will be subpoenaed as witnesses.

"If TWT’s principals successfully defend themselves–then everyone in the US and Armenia will be exonerated," Green concluded.

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