2019 April 17

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & Other - Apr/17/2019: ECHR Court vs Manvel.... Prosecutors vs themselves.... Former regime gave itself more cheap lease.... City destroys more illegal buildings.... Ethics committee issues fines... Dodi Gago suspends cement layoffs.... Parliament session... Transparency... Transport
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.

European Court for Human Rights has rejected Manvel "Tushonka" Grigoryan's petition to require the Armenian authorities to transfer him to a hospital and place him under a constant care, as well as to require the authorities to allow him to fly to France for a supposed medical care.

The government argued that Manvel has received all the necessary care while in custody, and had been transferred to hospital on several occasions when necessary.


The former government of Yerevan gave HHK party (itself) a property lease in central Yerevan for 4x cheaper price than other tenants in the same building, says municipality.


Yerevan Municipality is destroying another illegal building built on a green zone, this time in Ring (oghakadzev) Park.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159260 --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdcjPkXL5Ic


The war on gazebos (pavilion) continues. Yerevan municipality is removing one on Khorenatsi street. They say it was built on the sidewalk illegally.

sound warning https://armenpress.am/arm/news/971692.html

The Roboserj regime persecuted hundreds of opposition members and protesters after the 2008 events. Some of them won lawsuits in European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) for the illegal treatment.

Now, the general prosecutor says his office is also reviewing these old arrests, and in some cases they themselves brought a complaint to Cassations Court to have the old verdicts thrown away, to clear these people's records.


Serj's brother Levon Sargsyan, and the former Defense Minister Mikael Harutyunyan who is currently on the run and is wanted for his March 1st 2008 involvement, are fined 200k each by the high ranking official ethics committee, for failing to disclose their income and property ownership after their resignation/termination.


In a wild turn of events, Gagik Tsarukyan told his cement workers to tear the papers notifying them of being laid off. Says the decision to cut the staff was done while he was angry.

He again blamed the government for not having tariffs on Iranian imports materials that produce cheaper cement. Says he can finance the factory for another 3 months but it will go bankrupt afterwards. The CEO of the factory contradicted him yesterday, saying the decision to cut staff wasn't to keep the business afloat, the business was doing fine, but it's necessary to maximize the revenue.

Tsarukyan also wondered if it's true that the workers were told to go close streets to protest. Some workers said the CEO told them to. Tsarukyan said it was a misunderstanding and they shouldn't shut down anything or get involved in politics.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159290 ------ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs1S4pfiNuY

Hetq did an investigation and concluded that Tsarukyan's cement firm is misleading the public in the cement tariff story. His company, which owns 70% of the cement market, isn't threatened by the Iranian cheap cement material imports, based on Hetq's calculations.


A journalist earlier said that former oligarch HHK Lfik Samo kidnapped him and threatened to shoot him if he didn't report favorably about Samo. The investigators have questioned the journalist, and will soon invite Samo for a questioning.


Parliament is in session. The opposition and the government are taking jabs at one another.


BHK MP told QP to read better books to get a bit smarter and not to appoint idiots in various positions. QP MP responded saying BHK needs to read these books because their (former) Gyumri mayor mismanaged the city so badly that it is still recovering, and they have criminal MPs in their ranks. http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/267757


LHK wants the finance minister to resign.


QP offered LHK and BHK to create procedures to allow the Parliament to call NSS and police chiefs to report on front of the Parliament. QP is against turning these institutions into Ministries.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159282 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159277


LHK leader Edmon Maruqyan reminded Pashinyan that the latter gave a TV interview on GALA TV on 2007. Immediately afterwards, the Rob's regime begun persecuting the media outlet, says Edmon. "The advertisers were threatened and scared away, NSS and IRS issued GALA a 25mln fine."

GALA challenged the 25mln verdict on European ECHR court, and won. The government was obligated to pay them back, but hasn't done so yet. Maruqyan wants Pashinyan to honor the case. Pashinyan said he'll get more details about the story.


(Pashinyan y u no liek jurnalistss?)


BHK asked why Agriculture Ministry is being merged with Economic Ministry. Government said because their work is similar and there is no need to have a separate ministry. Hundreds of employees will be laid off and placed on the employment reserves due to work redundancy; the government will help them to find jobs, some might be transferred to other government agencies.



"We will not only spread them on the asphalt (referring to police detaining suspects), but we'll smash them on the walls", said angry PM Pashinyan while criticizing a violent incident in Zartonq, during which the mayor's grandson used a rifle to wound several protesters, and one protester made physical threats towards the mayor. Pashinyan says any act of violence will receive a strong response.

The Zartonq incident ended with the mayor resigning and criminal charges being pressed against him for an alleged embezzlement of soldier and low income aid funds.



Pashinyan offered opposition LHK and BHK to nominate their candidates for the upcoming elections in the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition, and Public Services Regulatory Commission. LHK says this will help to improve the opposition's oversight over the government, and to speed up the fight against monopolies.



Health Minister said they will increase the medical emergency department expenditure by 25% (or 1bln) next year. Many workers have long complained about over-working. The changes will allow them to hire more staff and raise salaries.


Transparency and spending reforms in the military.

On 2017, only 0.1% of the purchases were done through an open auction. On 2018, that number was 47%. The administrative representation costs slashed by 14%.


Deputy PM Mher Grigoryan says the reports about Gazprom-Armenia preparing to lay off thousands of workers as a result of losing profit due to absorbing all the gas price hike, are exaggerated. There will be some layoffs, but it'll be related to technological improvements, the numbers won't be in thousands, said Deputy PM.


Pashinyan recalls promising to raise police salaries during the April 2018 revolution, while still on the streets confronting the police.

Since his appointment as PM, the police salaries rose by 20%, says Pashinyan. Some officers now receive large bonuses when they help to solve a criminal case.


Transport Minister says they will significantly expand the road repairs and construction this year. Over 300km of roads. Connections with Georgia and Iran will be prioritized. 15bln will be spent on these sections alone.

Vanadzor-Alaverdi-Georgia high quality road will be ready next year. The North-South's Talin-Gyumri will have delays because of some issues accumulated from past.


A new unified transport system will be implemented across the country. New settlements will be added to the route. They are currently examining passenger traffic in various areas. This will be done by May and they'll begin to model the system.

The passenger will buy one type of ticket for the whole trip and will be notified where to get off and what bus to take to continue to journey.

No money will be handed to the driver. The passenger buys a ticket.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159259 --- http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/267759

Last year, dozens of car examination (techznnum) firms were busted with fraud. The system itself was criticized for being inefficient and good only on paper. The Transport Ministry said they'll work on a new plan.

Minister says the system is ready and is waiting for the legislative to pass the necessary laws to implement it. All car examination firms will be connected to the online system, one unified database of cars, and their repair status will be available for the inspectors. This will prevent car accidents, fraud in tech examination process, help better understand the transportation potential, said Minister Hakob Arshakyan.

Under the new system, brand new car owners will not be required to undergo technical examination every year. The frequency will depend on various risk factors.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159258 --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/971642.html

Justice Ministry has proposed toughening prison sentences for burglaries and to add more patrolling, to reduce the abnormally high burglary instances. Up to 12 years in prison. Unclear what the current punishment is.


EU ambassador Pyotr Switalski congratulates Armenians with the significant anti-corruption improvements since last year. Says this is what Armenians have always dreamed of, and EU will continue to help in the fight.

Says the recent arrest of the deputy Health Minister shows that corruption risks still exist and he welcomes the government's ongoing plans to create a new separate anti-corruption institution.

He said asset recovery implementation and whistle-blower protection mechanisms are also important.


Update : A former felon was detained yesterday in a case related to a murder of an 84 yearn old woman. During the arrest, the police says he swallowed a bag of meth. The man was taken to hospital, where he died from heart failure caused by the drug.

Before dying, the man told his mother that the police allegedly beat him in a police car and later in a station, and told him to admit that he saw how his neighbors killed the elderly woman. He accused the police of dropping the meth in his pocket. His mother says they took him to a hospital where the staff allegedly refused to treat him and were OK if he died. (The police is investigating some of this as a possible false report). While in hospital, the man allegedly heard how the doctors were colliding with the police to kill him by not providing aid. (what if he was just high?)

The police says no signs of beating were found on him during the initial examination. The police chief launched an investigation yesterday. Prosecutors have also launched an investigation, because public officials are accused of crimes.


Diaspora Ministry says since last year, 500 families asked for help to permanently move to Armenia. Many more came without their help, said the ministry. Businessmen Gharibyan brothers have recently agreed to invest $700mln (338.4bln) in the country.


Update: Earlier we learned that a commander of one of the military outposts in Maghri created a scene, got drunk and instructed his subordinates to leave the station to protest the administration's decision to move him to another outpost. 7 of them are currently facing felony charges for the event. Many of the soldiers were earlier sent to Artsakh frontlines "as a punishment".


Update: HFF (Hay Football Federation) chief Vanetsyan earlier said the army will create its won soccer club. Army says beginning this conscript collection season, they will create a new Army Central Sports Club which will allow young men to play sports in the army, and in the event of good achievements, they could be released from the army so they can compete elsewhere.


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/becnm8/anticorruption_other_apr172019_echr_court_vs/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports














2019 Daily Armenia Reports