David Galstyan Was Not An Advisor To The Minister

Ophelia Simonyan


In early February, the RA NSS announced that David Galstyan (known as Patron Davo), Chairman of the Board of Royalsys Engineering, had been detained. According to the accusation, according to the contract signed with the Ministry of Defense, he was obliged to supply the army with 1983-86 production caliber projectiles in 2018. But he supplied another type of artillery shell of 1977 Czech production, which was significantly inferior in tactical features, and if used, it was impossible to solve combat problems.

Referring to the NSS statement, a number of media outlets wrote that Davit Galstyan was an advisor to former Minister Davit Tonoyan. He was introduced as a former adviser to the minister by armtimes, armenpress, factor, iravaban.net, civilnet, 5tv, infocom and many other news outlets.

This information was never denied by the relevant bodies or government officials. For example, to the question of RFE/RL director Hrayr Tamrazyan that “David Galstyan, the minister’s adviser, has been arrested, and the minister is innocent, did he not know?” Andranik Kocharyan, chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Defense and Security, answered that the answer will be given, and the leadership of the Ministry of Defense must support the investigation. Andranik Kocharyan thus legitimized the assertion that David Galstyan was an advisor to the minister.

On February 4, David Galstyan issued a statement denying the news that he had ever held the position of advisor to the minister. “I have never been an advisor to any minister, I have never held any position, either in the RA Ministry of Defense or in other state agencies.”

We made an inquiry to the Ministry of Defense to find out the list of staff and out-of-office advisers of the former Minister of Defense Davit Tonayan and the terms of their appointment, as we also asked to mention if David Galstyan has ever held the post of the Minister of Defense.

Referring to Article 9 part1(d) of the Law on State and Official Secrets and paragraph 8 of Government Decision 173 of 1998, the Department of Defense refused to provide the information.

The first law mentioned stipulates that the information “on the location of allied states and units and military units of the RA Armed Forces in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, real names, organizational structure, armament and number” is secret. The law, however, does not specify the number of advisers or the secrecy of the list. The second law quoted refers to the information on the deployment of troops, real names, organizational structure, armament, number. There is also no prohibition here to publish the names or number of the minister’s advisers.

The department refused to provide the list of advisers, but at the same time noted that David Galstyan had never held the position of advisor to the minister. Thus, the news spread from 2019 that Davit Galstyan held the position of advisor to former Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan does not correspond to reality.

Ophelia Simonyan

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