2019 July 10

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News from Armenia - Jul/10/2019: NSS busts a Cassations court official; bribery..... Court: Kocharyan's son vs NSS chief......... Norfolk Consulting..... Tougher penalty for harming nature...... Lights Out....... other events
by ar_david_hh

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.


NSS has busted a Cassations Court official for bribery. The suspect is accused of taking a bribe from someone to make sure the court verdict is in their favor.

The process of bribery was monitored by the NSS. Both people were arrested after the transaction. NSS is checking to see if the suspects had other similar bribery instances.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165879

The court has a verdict in Rob's son Sedrak Kocharyan defamation lawsuit against NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan. Vanetsyan was sued for an alleged defamation. The court ruled against plaintiff Kocharyan. Vanetsyan won't have to make a public apology.

Vanetsyan was sued because during a press conference he said Sedrak was implicated in a $6mln bribery case, instead of saying it was a money laundering case. He corrected his own mistake publicly on several occasions.

Sedrak's father Robert is charged with the bribery.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165909

Six pro-Kocharyan group members were briefly detained for trying to block Pashinyan's and top EU official Donald Tusk's car from driving near North Avenue, and for confronting police officers. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165886 -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_vevJzCYIc

Update: Norfolk Consulting has repaid 3bln in unpaid taxes. IRS dropped the felony investigation. The company is going bankrupt.

Last year we learned that the company falsified tax-clearance inventory data to lower the product value, to evade taxes.

Norfolk director Armen Unanyan, who is an affiliate of the former IRS chief and a Gazprom-Armenia secretary (who is an affiliate of former Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan), was arrested. IRS employees were questioned as witnesses.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/105447

Special Investigative Service chief met and discussed a few things with a group of World Bank and UN experts specialized in returning laundered money from offshores https://factor.am/166592.html

101 MPs voted to pass a bill that raises the penalty for killing an endangered Armenian leopard, from 3mln to 100mln.

Setting forests on fire or damaging them with other means on purpose, will be a felony under the new law.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981233.html

European Council president Donald Trump Tusk has visited Armenia.

Nikol Pashinyan said nice things about Europe and thanked them for help and cooperation. Spoke about easing the visa regime.

Donald Tusk said nice things about Armenia. Welcomed the push to reform the judicial system. He said the EU noticed the recent anti-corruption and other efforts and doubled the aid for Armenia. Said he supports the EU-Armenia comprehensive cooperation agreement. Promised to help with water management and Sevan lake ecosystem health. He congratulated Pashinyan for "the progress achieved by him".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165868 -- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165870 -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981262.html -- https://factor.am/166414.html

..............

Tusk: Հայաստանի դրական դինամիկան ստեղծել է նոր հնարավորություններ համագործակցության համար https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981247.html

...................

Tusk visited Sevan and Sevanavank https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981281.html

...................

EU ambassador Piotr Switalski is departing. He could be replaced by EU's current ambassador to Belarus. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165872

Lights went out intermittently across Armenia for several hours due to voltage inconsistency in the electric grid. The safety mechanism kicked-in and shut down the Yerevan and Hrazdan power plants. A similar event happened in 2013 when controlled changes were made to adjust the electric connection between Armenia and Iran. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165876 -- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165892

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No one got stuck in metro for long, but it had to suspend operations after the power temporarily went out and caused some trains to wait in tunnels for the power to come back up. Extra buses were utilized in Yerevan as a substitution. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165881 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165893

......................

Zvartnots airport was disconnected from the grid but they continued to operate with the alternative energy sources . http://arka.am/en/news/technology/electricity_supply_to_zvartnots_airport_was_disconnected_for_half_an_hour/

....................

Metsamor nuclear power plant's work was not affected. http://arka.am/en/news/technology/large_scale_failure_in_armenia_s_energy_system_did_not_affect_armenian_nuclear_power_plant_s_operati/

...................................

Energy committee says they are slowly returning the power, which went out around 1pm for TV networks, and gradually returned around 2pm. Yerevan power plant and the metro went back to normal operations several hours later. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165895 --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/165922 -- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/165925

.........................

Iranians are saying a similar electrical change happened in Iran today. Armenian grid is tied to Iran, so a change in northern Iran could affect Armenia, and vice versa. They are investigating. It's not clear right now where exactly the problem begun. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165899

Khosrov forest had a massive fire 2 years ago. It has just begun to flourish and heal itself. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165858

Armenia, United States, Russia and other nations have called for Turkey to end the controversial oil exploration at the cost of Cyprus. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165905 --- https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/07/cyprus-turkey-greece-sea-maritime-sovereignty.html

Armenia has been elected as an observer state of Pacific Alliance trade initiative headed by South American nations. https://factor.am/166576.html


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cblaz5/anticorruption_news_from_armenia_jul102019_nss/

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