2019 July 23

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - Jul/23/2019 ::: Constitutional Court ::: Anti-Corruption Stats ::: Mayor charged ::: SOC audits finds ::: Gov-worker arrested for bribe ::: IRS busts insurance agencies ::: Migration ::: New farm subsidies ::: Sevan ::: Sports ::: Boris ::: more inside
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.


Constitutional Court had earlier decided to contact the Venice Commission and ECHR to seek an opinion whether Law 300.1 is Constitutional and should be applied against Kocharyan in the March 1st case. Today, they decided to suspend the scheduled August hearing in the Constitutional Court until they receive the opinion from the two institutions.

It's about whether Kocharyan can be charged with toppling the Constitution, which is punishable by 10-15 years.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166903

Earlier, a group of lawyers came forward with a report that Constitutional Court chief Hrayr Tovmasyan was appointed as a judge illegally, while still serving as a HHK party member. He was accused of colluding with fellow HHK party to appropriate the power. Details here https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/c9kfmg/anticorruption_jul52019_constitution_accusation/

Between 2014-2017, Hrayr Tovmasyan was HHK's Head of the Parliament Staff and Secretary General.

Some outlets earlier wrote that he was recently under an investigation for alleged illegal dealings while still working in the Parliament. Now, more media sources confirm that investigation story. No details so far.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166878

Ararat province prosecutors released anti-corruption activity stats for 1H19 vs 1H18. 84% of the cases in 1H19 were filed because the residents came forward to report a crime witnessed.

3.75x as many cases were examined.

22 felony charges were pressed against public officials, versus 1 charge in same period of last year.

7x more money was found to have been stolen, and 6.2x more money was recovered.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166879

Former Gndevaz mayor is facing felony embezzlement charges for abusing his position to sell 9 hectare public land to his son for only 0.5mln Drams, who a year later sold it to a private company for 147mln. The 50mln is recovered so far. Others involved in the case may also face charges.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166876

SOC has audited gov-funded "Assistance for Convicts" foundation and discovered many years of inappropriate spending.

Foundation didn't do the duties requested by the government, not all of the earned funds were spent on purpose, no rehabilitation programs were created for inmates, wasteful spending led to 110mln in debt, says the SOC report.

125mln in damages and an additional 75mln in wasteful spending is suspected. Prosecutors are notified. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982592.html

SOC earlier audited 4 water management agencies in provinces and found around 4bln worth abuse and waste. That case is now sent to prosecutors' office. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982590.html

SOC audited prison transactions by a Justice Ministry-run institute for 2016-2018, and discovered financial abuse in medical and sanitary product purchases. Expired and low quality medication, unfair competition during auctions, etc. Case is sent to prosecutors. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982587.html

(SOC or State Oversight Committee is authorized to audit any institution that receives some of its budget from the government. It was formed after the 2018 revolution and directly reports to the Prime Minister.)

Shirak police has arrested governor office's social services employee for taking and demanding a bribe from a resident between 2017-201 with the purpose of keeping the resident on the aid recipient list.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166900

IRS has launched felony tax evasion cases against several insurance agencies. They're accused of cooking the books and covering it up. Some of them admitted the wrongdoing and recovered 218mln in damages. Investigation continues.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982538.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982614.html

Between the January and April of 2019, 12,800 Armenian migrants were registered by the Russian authorities, up from 4,900 in early 2018. As of June-2019, the number of Armenian citizens in Russia was reduced by 13,000 compared to the same period of last year.

Overall migration from numerous countries to Russia has increased. "Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, and Armenia are named the key migration donors of Russia."

https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2019/07/23/Armenian-migrant-Russia/2144478 --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982614.html

Russia is making it easier for former USSR nationals, and those born in Russia but later moved elsewhere, to become Russian citizens. Armenians are on that list. Immigrants will wait shorter periods to qualify for legal residency status, and upon receiving it, they'll be allowed to stay forever.

https://www.pnp.ru/politics/vykhodcam-iz-postsovetskikh-stran-budet-proshhe-poluchit-vid-na-zhitelstvo-v-rossii.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982569.html

The government will help farmers to breed sheep and goat between 2019-2023, according to a draft bill. Armenia produces 40% more sheep that it consumes. Gov thinks exporting these animals can become a stronger business field.

~22k sheep are being exported each year. This year the exports have been at a slightly higher rate.

The aid program will also breed new types of sheep with an increased productivity. They plan to see 100,000 "high quality" sheep by 2027.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982582.html

Ministry of Emergency has updated the old 1994 seismic risk map of the country with a new one, with the help of US, Italian and Armenian firms. There are risk 3 layers depending on the likelyhood of an earthquake. Nearby population is also taken into account to calculate a possible impact.

Useless link w/out a map http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/271305

Yerevan municipality purchased 400 more garbage bins and added 2 more garbage collector trucks to the fleet. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166935

The medical and physics community made a big fuss about this one. It's a new "cyclotron" device that uses nuclear reaction to create isotopes that are used for very precisely locating where the cancer cells are. It can also be used for physics. After 4-10 years of failed negotiations, it is finally operational, bragged Pashinyan whose office helped to get it running.

Scientists can use the device it to create a liquid that helps to locate the cancer cells to they can be better targeted during the curing process.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982622.html

As reported earlier, Sevan is healing from the recent algae revolt, and is getting blue again. The remaining slight green color will go away soon, but for now, it has given the lake a light blue color, which some people found romantic. Some famous idiots begun to drink the water to prove it's safe. Tourists had no complaints while swimming. (Algae is expected to periodically return at some capacity until the main problems of submerged trees, phosphorus chemicals and water levels aren't solved.)

https://youtu.be/62cwNYQlJPM?t=7

Tres Cantos chess championship is over. Grandmaster Karen Grigoryan is the champion.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982550.html

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's Adidas shoe ad in Armenian

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166890

Akna (Aghdam) was liberated 26 years ago today. It was being used by Azerbaijan to organize a planned takeover of capital Stepanakert. How it was liberated (James Bond stuff): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnOGU7Fqp7M

The conflict between Georgia and Azerbaijan over the Georgian monastery David Gareja continues. Azerbaijan built a military facility near the monastery and deployed significantly higher number of soldiers. Earlier, a group of Georgian activists confronted Azeri border guards after Azeris removed sacred artifacts from their side of the monastery.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166880

Boris Johnson, who is most likely an illegitimate brother of Donald Trump, is the new Prime Minister of UK. His great grandfather was Ali Kemal, an Ottoman journalist turned politician from Constantinople. Ali Kemal was later accused by Ottomans of being too cozy with Armenians for raising the topic of murders of Armenians, and was subsequently murdered then lynched.

Details inside: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982616.html


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cgxagw/anticorruption_news_jul232019_constitutional/

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