2019 August 22
Anti-Corruption & News - Aug/22/2019 ::: frmr Justice Ministry & Yerevan officials busted ::: Amulsar mining - What do opposition parties think? - Lawsuit expert ::: Subsidy for soldiers, mothers ::: Constitutional Court ::: Tax subsidies for investors :: Cancer surgeries ::: More inside...
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.
Amulsar tldr: ELARD exam showed the gold mine operation to be safe for waters, found problems with a past examination. Pashinyan asked Nature Ministry to figure out if another exam similar to the one done in past, is needed. They're working on figuring it out. Environmentalists are against the mine and used ELARD's study to point out problems, which the proponents dismiss saying the final conclusion said the problems are fixable.
Major opposition parties BHK and LHK earlier came out against the mine's operation. Ruling QP's administration, but not all MPs, is in favor of operation if the exams show it's safe and legal. What do other parties think?
ARF believes the mine's operation isn't proven to be safe, and a referendum vote is needed. Two years ago ARF was in favor of the mine's operation. https://fip.am/8033
Others disagree with the idea of a referendum, saying you can't find something to be safe and legal then tell the investor we can't let you do it and "will let the referendum decide", without harming the business environment in Armenia.
Artsakh president's spokesman Davit Babayan criticized political analyst Ara Papyan for saying "Amulsar is the biggest question for Armenia, even bigger than Artsakh. Armenia could live without Artsakh, but can't live without water". Babayan hopes the comment is a result of being uneducated.
Heritage party criticized the attempts by some activists to turn the environmental protection topic into an "uninformed circlejerk" by manipulating public's emotions, and threatening to cause financial and political problems for the country. They reminded how the nuclear power plant was shut down years ago through a similar process, causing damage to the economy. Heritage criticized the govt for being slow at resolving the issue.
Hanrapetutyun party (Aram Sargsyan) supports the Amulsar mining. You don't get a $400mln investment every day, says the party. They also support new mining projects in two other areas which they say will benefit the economy, so that more resources can be spent on developing other sectors of the economy, such as tech. The Amulsar mining risks are manageable, says their memo.
An opposition party QO is against the mining. They met Jermuk residents and found that the absolute majority of Jermukites are, unsurprisingly, against it. They then met Pashinyan to discuss the topic. They concluded that PM doesn't have a final opinion yet and his opinion is that "it's about whether the mine's operation would be legal and safe".
An expert in international arbitration lawsuit says if the mine is found to be legally safe but isn't allowed to operate, Lydian miner could sue Armenia to recover at least whatever has been invested (around $400mln), plus the money they lost from the unearned revenues.
The government should regulate the mining industry as a whole, and not take steps that appear to target a specific business, otherwise it lays out the legal grounds for Lydian to sue Armenia.
In March 11th 2019 Lydian announced that they have a dispute with the Armenian government and announced a willingness to send it it for international arbitration.
President Sarkissian says the president can't/won't intervene in the work of PM and investigators, but he generally thinks extra steps are needed to protect the nature and benefit the strengthening of the country and the economy.
SOC has audited Politeknik University's "foundation" for 2015-2019 and didn't find felony acts. Problems were found with the purchase decisions, property use, food processing. Suggestions were sent to the Education Ministry.
NATO sent a team of advisers in Aug 19-22 to help the Defense Ministry with a new pilot program to educate officers to obtain better management skills.
The Constitutional Court has been operating in violation of the Constitution for the past year, say the former Constitutional court member judge Kim Balayan and others.
The Constitution says the court needs a vice president. The 20th clause mandates the court to appoint a vice president within 10 days of the seat being vacant. It's been vacant for a year.
Constitutional Court says the law wasn't broken because in order for there to be a vice president, someone has to be either nominated, or someone voluntarily nominates themselves, and should receive majority votes. They attempted it once but failed.
It is unclear why the court didn't pick and nominate another member for the position to meet the legal demand.
Update: Former Syunik governor's younger son was among former official family members who was accused of illegally dodging military service. A new medical examination was conducted. It shows that he isn't currently fit for a military service.
Update: Last month a "criminal authority thief" Andik was murdered in a gazebo. The police has solved the case. The murderer is a citizen of Russian Federation who arrived to Armenia a week before the murder, and is currently hiding. The accomplice is an Armenian man who has been arrested.
The police says they busted a former high ranking Justice Ministry (JM) official and former Yerevan municipality (YM) officials with abuse of power and embezzling land in Yerevan through illegal sales in 2012-2013.
Notary workers cooperated with the police to uncover this crime. JM and YM officials threatened notaries with retaliation if they don't do what they are told. This allowed the ownership of several pieces of lands to be registered under the names of JM accomplices, while the YM officials organized the fake land auctions at prices well below the market value. These lands were later leased back to the notaries for much higher prices.
Armenian govt will donate 33mln to two NGOs Transparency International and Informed Citizens, to help them monitor the upcoming September elections in Artsakh. Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman welcomed the move and hopes this will help to initiate the development of civil society in Artsakh.
The govt gave tax breaks to 3 firms so they can 🥫 invest 11.1bln.
AFA firm will import tech products to produce some hardware. 55 new jobs with 150k salary.
Lentex textile & clothing firm to create 55 new jobs.
ProfAl aluminum door & window producer to create 50 new jobs with 280k salary.
The govt will spend extra 77mln to subsidy nanny care for parents who have a <2 year old kid but want to go to work and need someone to babysit the kid.
The govt approved the plan to help 500 army officers every year, by subsidizing their mortgage and down-payment.
Recently, the Govt subsidied some dealthcare including cancer surgeries. Healthcare Minister says the number of such life saving surgeries went from 979 to 2301, 1H18 vs 1H19.
THE SILENT BATTLE OF THE TITANS: HHK tatik vs Vardges Gaspari (tickets available only in Armenia).
Not so silent cheering for Ararat club for winning a Europa Liga playoff match against Luxemburg champion. To make it to the final group tournament, for the next match the team needs to either win, draw, or lose by no more than a 0:1 difference explained here.
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. Older posts can be found at: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 , credits to Idontknowmuch.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cu2gvr/anticorruption_news_aug222019_frmr_justice/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|