2019 July 2
Anti-Corruption & News - Jul/2/2019: Court trials; Serj's nephew; former police chief; general; nature protection ministry.... Anti-corruption news.... Land irrigation.... Diasporans & businesses.... Foreign stuff.... Neighborhood news.... other news
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.
PM Pashinyan signed a decree to form a new anti-corruption policy advisory group, consisted of PM, PM chief of staff, deputy PM, Justice Minister with deputy Minister, Supreme Court Council chief, chief of ethics committee overseeing ranking officials, lawyers from Parliament, 1 representative from each political party, 5 representatives from civil society organizations.
Simultaneously, the Justice Ministry is working on the new anti-corruption institute.
Emmanuel "Tushonka" Gregory is in court again. He and his wife were charged with theft of military goods, tax avoidance. He offered 10mln bail to be released. He complained about bad health, partially unresponsive legs, says he needs sunlight and mental peace (whatever that means).
The prosecutor asked the court to assign an independent medical examination for the newly reported diseases.
However, since Grigoryan is already in a civilian hospital while under detention, releasing him isn't going to make his health better because he would continue to receive the same care in the civilian hospital, argued the prosecutor.
The court ruled that Grigoryan should remain locked up. A medical committee will be formed to examine his new health developments.
The Appeals Court has ruled that March 1st murder suspect and unit commander Gegham Petrosyan should remain locked up for now. He is charged with illegally causing the death of protester Zakhar Hovhanissyan. Petrosyan is the first high ranking official to be charged in direct connection of a death. Kocharyan and his fellow defendants were earlier charged with abusing their powers and breaking the Constitutional order, but not with murder.
Last year, the former Nature Protection Minister and HHK MP was charged with taking bribes to authorize mining illegally, after getting off the hook under the previous administration few years ago.
His aides were also charged with assisting him in the alleged crime. At least one of the aides was arrested. That arrest was challenged and 20mln bail was offered by the defendant. Today the court ruled that the defendant should remain arrested.
Levon Yeranosyan, the former chief of internal police forces, is facing charges of illegal use of weapon and abuse of power. The incident happened in 2018 during the revolution. The official shot from "Zarya" flash grenades towards the peaceful gatherers in multiple occasions. The authorities say he wasn't certified to do so and did it in a dangerous manner, causing physical harm to dozens.
Several now-government members were present among thse protesters. QP MP Parliament deputy-speaker Alen Simonyan, and QP MP Aren Mkrtchyan who is/was Pashinyan adviser, have been recognized as victims.
To be continued...
Update: Lawsuit against Serj's nephew Hayk Sargsyan [defendant] continues. He is accused of getting high and shooting at his friend [victim], before forcing another friend to take the blame for it, 11 years ago.
Today he got mad while asked to comment on his father's [Serj bro] alleged past business shakeup practices and the family's wealth. He said the "money came from doing work, none of your business".
A witness Samvel Aslanyan [he] was summoned. He earlier testified the following:
He received a call saying that Serj's bro wants to see him. During the meeting, Serj's bro told him that the defendant and the victim "played with a gun" and resulted in the victim being shot and transported to hospital. Serj's bro then asked him to meet the victim Arthur Ghevondyan's family and reassure them that their son will be taken care of.
He agreed, met the family and told them their son was shot by an accident that will be taken care of.
Later that day Serj's bro met him again and told him there has been "misunderstanding". Apparently Serj's bro gave the wrong name for a victim. The man who was shot wasn't Arthur Ghevondyan, but David Simonyan. (what in actual fk lol)
Serj bro then asked him to - this time - meet David Simonayan's parents and comfort them, which he did.
When he returned home from his mission, he noticed that Serj bro's bodyguards were going around the backyard and telling everyone that the other friend shot the victim, and not the defendant.
(The witness essentially says that initially Serj bro admitted that it was his defendant son and the victim who were involved, but later tried to cover it up by instructing bodyguards to spread rumors that it was a 3rd friend who was playing with the gun, and not his defendant son)
Next session is in August.
Ministry of Infrastructure says that after the revolution, some water users and land owners came out of the "shadows" into the legal field. This has resulted in more irrigated lands being registered, yet less water is being used due to less abuse.
1H19 vs 1H18 (known) irrigated lands rose by 7,100 hectares, 30mln cubic meter less water was used, 920 land irrigation contracts signed.
(Last year the government implemented a satellite imagery system that detects irrigated lands and compares them to the database of authorized water users.)
Water drainage from Sevan Lake has been temporarily reduced due to heavy rains elsewhere. Water reservoirs in Armenia have 41mln cubic meter more than the same period of last year.
The government has instructed the ministry to examine the possibility of changing the entire system of water management and distribution. They say the current system, in which local water usage unions manage it, isn't working well. It was implemented 20 years ago. (recently several billions in water abuse was uncovered)
Ministry said the bigger problem in villages right now isn't the lack of water, but its inefficient management. Some changes have already been made in the management staff.
Update: the authorities have been fighting against fraud and embezzlement in the social security & aid distribution system. 249 people have faced various charges since 2018, and 33 have already been found guilty and convicted of stealing ֏773mln.
Felony embezzlement and abuse of power charges are filed against Gyumri School N19's former director for allegedly registering people as workers who never went to work but received salaries. 3.5mln was stolen between 2014-3018.
1H19 vs 1H18 number of births in Gegharquniq province rose by 4%. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980552.html
The first "smart" bus stop in Gyumri is ready. It runs on solar energy with a panel on the roof, ports for electronics, anti-sun glass, "simplistic and cute" design. 35 improved units will be built this year after gathering public opinion. Inspired by the 2018 revolution, Armenian-Russian businessman Norayr Davtyan says he decided to visit Armenia and do business. The city also plans to revamp the transport system with 80 new buses next year.
Rumors say the USB ports have been trained in Gyumri's weightlifting school and can carry chargers weighing at least 90KG.
To help tourism, EU will give 127k Euro to Syunik province to help build a new pathway between Goris and Kapan. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/165306
A rare photo of QP, LHK and HHK members sitting on the same table. They met each other during an international political conference held in Moscow. All 3 parties were invited. They described the meeting as personal and non-political.
https://hraparak.am/post/1525693117 --- www.aysor.am/am/news/2019/07/02/Աշոտյան/1582675
A businessman is creating an 11 hectare bazaar for small and large scale agricultural trade, near the Yerevan-Artashat section of the North-South highway. It will have refrigerators, storages, car parking, buffets, booths, and will allow farmers to sell their goods more easily. First year's rent will be free. Artsakh's farmers will also find it convenient due to the location, says the businessman whose name was apparently so long and complicated that Armenpress couldn't be bothered to include it in the article.
President Sarkissian is a rich man. He has €5.5mln. Wife has €0.7mln.
(How does a fast food worker get so rich?)
Karen Antonyan wins silver in the European youth karate championship. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980535.html
An oil tanker transporting Azeri fuel in Turkey caught on fire. 2 died and 14 wounded. Most workers were Italian.
Heydar Aliyev, the former president of Azerbaijan but at the same time the son of the current president Ilham Aliyev, and de-facto yet prematurely de-jure the future president of Azerbaijan, has served almost 1 year in the army and has been honorably discharged. Glory to Arstotzka!
Unified national soccer league? Russian media is circulating the idea of having former Soviet republic teams to play in Russian league. Armenian Pyunik team chief has agreed. UEFA says there needs to be a wide consensus and changes if it's to become a reality.
The "gas war" between Armenia and Russia explained. Russia thinks the new $165 price at the border is right, and it's the second lowest price after Belarus.
Pashinyan wants the prices to be lowered again to match the internal Russian prices so it'll be fair in the context of EAEU trade. He has been using the EAEU platform to advocate for this for a while now. It's expected that this will be discussed in Autumn when the EAEU summit is held in Armenia, and when Putin visits Armenia this year.
Russian media outlet GazetaRu believes the Armenian government is pressuring Gazprom by continuously issuing penalties for various reasons.
Gazprom-Armenia agreed to swallow the burden of the recent price increase, but there are concerns that it may not last long. To make it possible, Gazprom-Armenia will fire 1000 workers to cut the expenditures. Pashinyan thinks it's best to lower the prices.
Armenian soldiers are currently participating in NATO Partnership for Peace, held in Georgia. They are learning how to climb mountains. https://razm.info/136949
Israel bombarded Syrian airports. Syrians responded by shooting from SAM missiles. One of them landed in Northern Cyprus and caused a fire. https://razm.info/136963
General Consul of Armenia in LA says there has been a rise in the number of diasporan US-Armenians trying to get an Armenian (dual) citizenship, in the past years, especially after the 2018 revolution.
Passport obtaining process takes 6 months. The applicant must visit Armenia to pick it up after being approved.
Your Armenian passport lets you visit 60 countries without a visa. Armenia is on the 84th place in this regard. It's down a few positions because Djibouti and Benin begun to require visas. Japan and Singapore have the strongest passports which lets them travel to 189 countries, closely followed by Germany, Finland, S. Korea.
Achievement Unlocked. (Check out your Steam store for a new item)
Armenian delegate says the European PACE assembly has given Armenia the ability to send delegates as special rapporteurs. This gives Armenia the ability to hang out with the cool kids on the block. This should give us the ability to more effectively counter Azerbaijan's agenda, says the delegate.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/c8ertf/anticorruption_news_jul22019_court_trials_serjs/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|