2019 July 19

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Jul/19/2019: Kocharyan Judge Investigation; Reported by a Participant of Unrelated Trial; Supreme Court Council..... Sevan Lake Cleanup - Felony Case...... Former Syunik Governor..... Yerevan Bus System Details.... Money Transfers Rise..... Ethics..... Sheep....
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.


The Supreme Court Council (not to be confused with the Constitutional Court) judges held a meeting to discuss some topics.

Judge Ruben Vardazaryan has been elected as the chief of Council. He will quit serving as a judge.

He says he'll take steps to improve the transparency in judicial. He disagreed that Pashinyan administration backed away from judicial reforms (as claimed by the backers of the former regime earlier this week).

Councilman is preparing a response to Pashinyan's accusations that some judges weren't independent in past, and were "looking for owners".

The Council voted not to suspend Councilwoman Tavaratsyan who was elected last year but hadn't swear-in for complicated reasons. Judge Tavaratsyan, in turn, voluntarily submitted her resignation from Council. Many people had earlier expressed concerns about the way she handled her appointment process.

The Council met judge Davit Grigoryan. This judge read the verdict in May 19 that freed Kocharyan. That verdict was then found to be false and overturned by the Appeals Court. Around 3 months after that trial, two days ago, the SIS conducted searches in his office and confiscated laptops.

The Council chief asked the prosecutors to explain the searches. He said the information they have as of right now does not indicate an intervention in the judge's independent decision making abilities.

Some, including the judge, have expressed concerns that it could be related to Kocharyan case. The judge refused to say whether Kocharyan related documents were confiscated. The judge asked the media to respect his presumption of innocence.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166673 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166635 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166665 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166666 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166659 --- https://youtu.be/Sy0fiw4VgQY?t=39

Prosecutors released a statement about the searches:

2 days ago, SIS confiscated computers belonging to the judge who read Kocharyan's May 19th verdict (later overturned by appeals). SIS said the searches were based on a report that was filed before the judge took the Kocharyan case.

Prosecutors criticized several news outlets for releasing "incomplete and misleading information" to try to affect the investigation and to politicize it.

Prosecutors said they purposely tried to keep the info sealed until now in order not to affect the judge's reputation and presumption of innocence, and in order not to affect his ongoing work.

They denied media reports alleging that the report against the judge was filed 1 year ago, and that only now it was being acted upon, as a way to pressure the judge. Prosecutors say the report was field in February 2019, just few months before the Kocharyan trial.

The person who came forward with a report against the judge was a party involved in an unrelated trial presided by the judge. The reporter told the investigators that during that trial, the judge attached several files to the case that claimed the reporter was properly informed about an upcoming trial, while the reporter claims in reality he wasn't informed, which resulted in problems with the trial, which is apparently verifiable through a computer system.

The SIS questioned the judge, who admitted that he "slipped" due to being "over-worked". The SIS made a decision not to launch a case against the judge.

The reporter then filed a complaint against SIS's decision not to launch a case against the judge. The case was escalated to prosecutors, who agreed with the SIS decision not to open a case against the judge.

General Prosecutor office says that reporter then escalated the case to General Prosecutor's office, and provided additional information regarding the case, which points to not just the judge making a simple mistake by forgetting things, but purposely falsifying documents to cover up his lack of notification to trial participant. General Prosecutor found the new report serious enough to conduct searches.

The prosecutor's office criticized media for presenting it as if the prosecutors decided to launch the case without a new evidence. Office also denies that the case is related to Kocharyan. The felony investigation was launched in June 28, well after the judge's Kocharyan ruling was found to be illegal and overturned by the Appeals Court, said the office.

The reason why the laptops were confiscated was to check if certain documents were falsified by the judge. The investigators allowed the judge to arrive and be present in his office during the search, after notifying Supreme Court Council about the upcoming search, says the memo.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982210.html -- Confusing title: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166637

Flashback: February 2019

Another judge Artush Gabrielyan was found to have violated a similar rule that this Kocharyan judge is accused of violating (minus alleged malice?). He didn't notify the defense about a trial. During the trial, the defense lost the case, and the suspect, a Kocharyan-era official, was sent to jail. The Supreme Court Council later took a disciplinary action against the judge.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154600

Several individuals tasked with cleaning Sevan Lake in 2013 are facing embezzlement charges.

Nature Ministry gave them 368mln to clean 285 hectares of water from submerged trees, between 2013-2015. Another private company was hired to monitor the cleanup operations.

In 2015, two firms falsified documents claiming the cleanup was done, says the police. The Ministry workers then signed to finalize the fake documents.

The case is sent to the Investigative Committee.

http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/271184

In 2015, Syunik's former governor Surik Khachatryan claimed there was a drive-by assassination attempt against him. Later it was claimed by witnesses/defendant that Surik organized a fake shooting on his car to pin it on his rivals, including a businessman, and the defendant who is going through a trial.

Car examination few months ago indicated it was staged. The signs of wound on the governor's clothing didn't match the wounds on his body. The initial 2015 investigation also showed signs of discrepancies in the governor's story. (read May/10/2019 for full report)

Today, the court satisfied the defendant's (the man who was charged with shooting) petition to organize a comprehensive examination of the evidence. The judge refused to recuse himself, saying just because he served in Syunik at the time when Khachatryan was the governor, doesn't necessarily mean he is biased.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166511

Ethics Committee of High-Ranking Officials investigated the acting SOC chief, based on a FIP outlet report, and concluded that chief Argishti Qaramyan obtained his apartment legally, but didn't add it in the declaration paper due to the way it was registered under his name when he was a child. He was told to add the missing data in the declaration. (Officials are expected to disclose their property when they assume an office.)

https://factor.am/168919.html

Dod Gago spent €1.5 million on chandeliers alone in 2018. A few mil for furniture. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166649

EU-funded wool factory opens in Amasia, Shirak. They expect to see textile factories to open in a few years.

Sheep in Amasia provide 16 various colors of wool (very important, can't wear same color every day). Annual 25 tons production.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166650

25 people were questioned by the police regarding Ijevan incident caused by illegal loggers. 5 are witnesses, 7 are told to stay in the country, 13 are arrested, 11 are wanted. They are facing assault and hooliganism charges.

https://factor.am/168790.html

Update: Last year the prosecutors launched a fuel embezzlement investigation against a few military officers. The case has been sent to the court. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166700

Yerevan will have a new bus system in a few years. British firm tasked with examining the possibilities earlier said the coverage will remain the same but overlapping routes will be removed, reducing routed from 111 to 42 (revised to 47). 845 buses and 101 trolley to be used.

More details: Most will be 2-wagon 18m buses with 150 capacity, some 1-wagon 12m buses with 100 capacity, some smaller 8m minibuses with 50 capacity (not marshutkas).

Less pollution and noise. Bus operational hours 6:45 - 23:45.

1,200 bus stops at 400m distance from each other.

It is proposed to introduce a time-based ticketing system. No more handing cash to the driver. This will speed things up and reduce instances of not paying fees. Conductors can check tickets. There will be monthly passes for frequent users.

Initial proposal is to have ticket machines outside. You can buy the ticket, board, have the system verify the ticket. A Smart Card can be obtained, which will give you a discount after you buy certain number of tickets.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166683

1H19. Numbers don't reflect person-to-person cash transactions.

Armenian banks received $705mln in transfers by people. That's 13% more than 1H18.

$352mln of it came from Russia 🐻 , which is $4mln less, mainly due to Ruble devaluation.

$105mln of it came from USA 🦅, which is 36% more than last year.

$14mln of it came from France, twice lower than last year.

Significant rise was seen from money transfers from other nations.

Money also exited Armenia. $510mln this 1H19, which is 11% more than last year. $176mln of it went to Russia, $83mln to USA.

Overall, 19% more cash flowed into the country.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/105762

NATO's military education committee visited Armenia. They met with Armenian military educators in defense field to create education plans for the army. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166664

Interview with Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of Australia's New South Wales state. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=TgMlkTcDSOM

How anti-heil system works https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=GNtT2qL5YD0


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cfccj5/anticorruption_jul192019_kocharyan_judge/

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