2019 April 23
Anti-Corruption Apr/23/2019: Russian court arrests Panama Paper suspect... Court vs NSS.... Invst: 127% rise in felony corruption busts... Cops charged... Mining transparency bill passed.... Yerevan is returning lands taken from preschools.... Anti-Revolution bill signed at last.... more below
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Your daily rumor and fake news alert.
Jamanak paper's anonymous sources are alleging that Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan and his office chief Varag Siseryan are "behind" the ELARD international mining examination company, which is why it received 192mln to examine Lydian Armenia mine's environmental impact in Amulsar. The anonymous source says Siseryan is Armenian-Lebanese, which is why the ELARD (Lebanese company) was chosen.
The Investigative Committee denies the rumors, calling them false. Says ELARD was chosen through a competition auction, and that it was the Investigative Committee that hired ELARD. The Investigative Committee is the body that's leading the mine examination process since last year.
ELARD is an international environmental assessment firm that does business in Arabic, African and Middle Eastern countries. It was founded on 1996 in Lebanon.
(how long until Avinyan hires ELARD to examine his backyard as a potential weed plantation facility?)
Jamanak paper published fake news saying that, after the customs worker lost his job for disrespecting the flag and keeping the room dirty, Pashinyan allegedly appointed his own chauffeur's mother's sister's son as the director of that Noragavit customs chief.
IRS chief denies the rumor. Says the new chief's name is Gegham Grigoryan, he isn't the mother's sister's son of Pashinyan's chauffeur, and that this new director is a known worker who has been working in IRS customs duty for a long time and was a deputy director of a facility.
QP denies the anonymous report posted on Irates paper saying that Speaker Ararat Murzoyan's aide moved some government office to Kapan so her mother could get a job there. QP joked saying they called the Kapan airport to make sure the flights are done faster to finish the transfer ASAP.
Jamanak published another fuel-related rumor that was denied by the private company in question. In it, the paper accused the government of giving some companies the "juicy" business fields. The company in question, owned by a Russian-Armenian businessman, says the government is not involved in the business, and that the business is done between private companies, and that their company isn't even doing the type of business mentioned by the paper.
QP faction chief Lilith Makunts denies the media rumors that they bought a new Toyota work car for her. She published the car's registration documents showing it was bought on 2015.
Back to news....
Russian court has approved the joint Armenian-Russian prosecutor petition to detain Panamaboy Mihran Poghosyan for 40 days, until the prosecutors can discuss his deportation back to Armenia. Poghosyan was earlier detained in the northern Russia. He is accused of abuse of power and embezzlement.
The court has rejected the NSS petition to extend the detention of the second SOC (State Oversight Committee) employee who is accused of, among with one other co-worker and SOC chief, of helping a specific medical company to win a contract in the dialysis business.
The other SOC employee was released few weeks ago. The NSS will challenge the verdict with an attempt to keep the second employee behind the bars. The (former) SOC chief isn't under an arrest but he is facing similar charges.
The medical company representative who allegedly colluded with the SOC agents was also released from detention.
SOC chief insists there has been a misunderstanding or a setup, and that they were helping to improve competition among businesses in this field because it had monopolies.
NSS insists these SOC workers overstepped their boundaries and directly helped a company whose director was colliding with them.
The Investigative Committee had a 127% rise in felony corruption investigations on 2018 vs 2017.
The Ministry of the Territorial Development says the process to return 40 stolen properties and lands from Manvel Grigoryan back to the community, has begun. The case will enter court soon.
Last year, the SIS announced that the investigation of 200 of his properties revealed that there is enough evidence that 40 of them were obtained illegally.
Update: Last October the investigators launched an investigation against several police officers in Sevan with a suspicion that they beat a detainee. Today they pressed charges against 3 of the police officers. One1 is arrested.
Parliament approved a bill to improve the visa-free regime with Argentina so both country's citizens can travel freely with their passports for leisure purposes.
They passed the mining transparency bill to require mining companies to disclose their real owners so they can't hide behind offshore firms or company names. The violators will lose their mining license. (118 AYE votes)
They passed the bill to provide aid to the dozens of victims of March 1st 2008 events.
They pass the government's proposal to extend tax waivers for newly formed tech companies, until 2023.
Yerevan municipality has created a sanitation body that will help to clean up the city, citing the fact that Sanitek has been unable to do its job properly.
Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutyan says they have begun returning some properties that the previous administration gave to private individuals without a proper compensation/fee, in the past 5 years.
35,000 m2 land was taken from schools, kindergartens and hospitals, and given to others, while the city has a big problem of shortage of kindergartens. The property that serves the community can continue to operate freely, said Marutyan.
In the past few months, they cleared 40 kindergarten buildings and brought them back under kindergarten control.
Parliamentary Chamber of Czech Republic has ratified the EU-Armenia comprehensive co-operation agreement. It needs to pass their Senate too.
Parliament speaker QP Ararat Mirzoyan tells the story about how 1 year ago today, the entire QP leadership was arrested after the Serj-Nikol failed negotiations.
Says him, Sasun Miqaelyan, Avinyan and others were in one location, while Nikol was kept locked up in a different place. Some people would come and ask them to stop the protests, but they'd tell them to inform Serj that he is ruining the country and the only option is for him to resign.
HHK Babloyan came and brought food. Human Rights Ombudsman gave them a radio so they could hear what's happening outside.
Then came HHK Karen Karapetyan (2nd in command) and asked Mirzoyan if the latter believes that Karapetyan wants the best outcome for the country. Mirzoyan said yes. He was invited to talk. They both joined a room where Nikol was already there. There, Nikol told Mirzoyan he was sent away to Sevan before being brought back to Yerevan.
Turns out Karapetyan negotiated with them separately to find "weak spots", but they all told him they demand Serj's resignation.
Karapetyan said Serj would resign later that year after hosting Frankofonie, if they stop protesting. QP rejected with distrust. Then Karapetyan said Serj would resign on Summer. They rejected. Karapetyan then said Serj would resign 2 days later, on April 25th. QP discussed that in privacy and decided to reject that as well.
Karapetyan then said Serj would resign later the same day if the protests end. QP rejected that too, and said he must resign within 2 hours. Karapetyan left, came back and said Serj will resign in 2 hours.
They were released from detention. Few hours later Serj resigned.
These was Ararat Mirzoyan's story. HHK Ashotyan says Serj made the decision to resign before Karapetyan met with QP leaders in detention.
Late last year, when QP was still a minority in Parliament and HHK/BHK/ARF were concerned about their seats and attempted to delay the new elections for as long as possible, they passed the so called "anti-revolution" bill, which would prevent protesters from being able to shut down Parliament sessions to delay the sessions to the point that legally there would be a need for new Parliamentary elections.
QP was concerned that if Pashinyan voluntarily resigned as Prime Minister to trigger new elections, the 3 parties could betray their promise and refuse to hold new elections. In that case, QP hoped to protest again and prevent a new Parliamentary session between BHK/HHK/ARF to elect as PM one of their own. The bill would take QP's last "safeguard" away.
The bill was passed, but president Armen Sarkissian refused to sign it immediately, sending it to the Constitutional Court to check if it's legal. This move bought some time for QP, and new elections were eventually held.
The Constitutional Court has ruled few days ago that the bill is Constitutional. President Sarkissian has signed the bill as required by law, which de-facto prevents now-opposition HHK/BHK/ARF from possibly playing those same "tricks" against QP. (Insert a you-have-played-yourself-yet-again meme here pleaze thank you)
Russia will deliver 18 Su-30SM fighter jets to its Armenian military base. They are a 4++ generation and will replace the aging MiG-29 jets.
Russian ambassador and Parliament members planted trees in the Parliament garden, in honor of Armenian-Russian friendship. The ambassador doesn't agree with some MPs that Russian Rossiya state-run channel was doing an anti-Armenian propaganda, which prompted some Armenian MPs to go as far as suggest for it to be blocked in Armenia, few weeks ago. Ambassador says some opinions may be raised but overall "even the Russian public wouldn't accept if the network aired anti-Armenian materials."
On the eve of Armenian Genocide remembrance day, Assembly of Armenians in Europe has condemned Turkey and Azerbaijan for similar genocides in Syria's Qessab and Der Zor, and massacres in Sumgayit and Baku.
Armenians begun the Tsitsakarnakaberd march by burning the Turkish flag
Azeri MP Oqtai Assadov has urged his colleagues not to threaten to solve the Karabakh issue through war. Says there is no need for emotional calls for war. "No need to be against peaceful resolution of the conflict, if it's possible."
Did you skip the military and currently live abroad? The investigative committee explains what your options are to come back without being arrested. Contact for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ապե, հլը դուրս արի.. BHK member of municipality tells his QP colleague to go outside for a "talk", after the latter "looks at him for too long".
Nike's new building in London will be built by British-Armenian company Mossessian Architecture, which will used black tuf stone imported from Armenia.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bglpvf/anticorruption_apr232019_russian_court_arrests/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|