2019 July 29

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - Jul/29/2019:: Judicial Council suspends Kocharyan judge :: Meghri deal :: Istanbul Convention; 3rd gender or not? ::: Shirak university embezzlement; Artsakh money missing ::: Yerevan municipality ::: Weekend festivities ::: Army news ::: +35,000 taxpayers ::: other stories
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.


On Sunday, Armenia celebrated Vardavar watering holiday, dedicated to pagan goddess Astghik. Nobody managed to stay dry.

Ministry of Emergency made sure everyone had enough water. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167252

Gyumri https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167261 -- https://factor.am/170852.html -- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167238

Vanadzor https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167250

Yerevan https://factor.am/170818.html

...... major street shut down to wash carpets https://youtu.be/Me1F1-_oQ3k?t=63

Garni and Geghard http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/271510

Armenian community in Italiy also celebrated Vardavar https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cj1qdg/vardavar_in_italy/

Parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan assaults his daughter with water https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167247

Pashinyan is still on vacation. He stayed in Dilijan then went to swim in Sevan. 100,000 people spent the last weekend in Sevan. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167249 --- https://factor.am/170996.html

The police really loves their new patrol helicopter. Don't drink and drive on Sevan highway. https://youtu.be/ojgJENin3xs?t=23

--- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/167256

Sevan Summit Startup 2019 has begun. 120 startups from 45 countries will gather in tents and present their ideas. 100 investors will be present. $1mln in investment contracts is expected.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983186.html

Spain defeated Portugal 2:0 in the European youth soccer championship finale held in Yerevan https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983061.html

Georgian Airways has so far suffered $25mln in damages and had to refund lots of tickets due to direct flight ban to Russia. They paid $600k towards subsidizing flights through Yerevan. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983128.html

Tour de Masis. Cyclists traveled 16km to the city of Masis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMlFoOFTiQ0

CPS fuel company's tankers caught on fire while being transported on railways. No major exposition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woEUvbgX-_g

A soldier was killed and 2 were wounded over the weekend from Azeri ceasefire violations on the borders. Foreign Ministry condemned the escalation by Azerbaijan. Azeri media reported Armenian snipers firing at their military trucks.

Ministry attributes the recent escalation to the attempts by both sides to improve their positions through increased engineering works on trenches.

https://factor.am/171027.html --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983139.html -- http://azeridaily.com/reality/49636

Update: Azerbaijan knows the approximate location of where the fighter jet fell, but they hadn't found it as of Saturday. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983032.html

An Azeri border guard near Iran was wounded during a shootout with illegal border violators https://razm.info/137572

What was the Meghri Scenario? Recently, a former high ranking Defense Ministry official accused Kocharyan of trying to give Armenia's southern Meghri region to Azerbaijan in exchange for Lachin corridor that would connect to Artsakh, and keep a narrow "sovereign path" to connect Armenia to Iran. Kocharyan himself downplayed the reports and said it wasn't about giving the whole area. Meghri deal was characterized as not a serious consideration.

There are former officials, however, who say it was president Kocharyan who was actively pushing to make this option happen. Former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan said Kocharyan and Serj Sargsyan were actively lobbying in favor of this option, but his (Harutyunyan) office managed to "take steps" to make sure it doesn't come into reality. One such "step" was convincing Russia to invest in a new electric grid that would connect Armenia to Iran. This made the Meghri region more important for Armenia, thus reducing the possibility of a swap.

Former Prime Minister Aram Sargsyan says he is proud that he played a role in preventing Meghri scenario from happening.

Former army chief Vazgen Sargsyan and Karem Demirchayn, who were later murdered during October 28 terror attack, had both fiercely opposed the Meghri deal.

More accounts inside...

https://www.lragir.am/2019/07/27/463110/ --- https://www.aravot.am/2008/02/14/330015/

A Kurdish elected official from Turkey's Kurdistan region participated in an Assyrian genocide related conference in Sweden, during which she said that Turkey has to face the reality of the 1915 Armenian genocide.

https://factor.am/170985.html

Archeologists have found remains of a 2,700 year old beheaded woman in the Western Armenian city of Van, where the ancient kingdom of Urartu was located.

https://factor.am/171125.html

Soldier salaries were raised in June by as much as 20%. The Defense Ministry says this has resulted in an increase in applications to become a contractor. High levels of interest from people living near borders. Ministry said the mandatory conscript system will remain necessary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983170.html

The number of mandatory conscripts being drafted have increased in the past 2 draft seasons, despite some university students receiving a temporary waiver in this season, says the Ministry.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983168.html

Citizen complaints filed regarding the military draft process has decreased from 200 to 90, 2019 vs 2018.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983133.html

Your daily gay news all in one convenient place (aka Daily Gay, Gay Times, Gay Post)

Justice Ministry says the Istanbul Convention, which is about strengthening prevention of abuse against women, isn't about transgender or gay rights. It's also not about allowing gays to adopt kids. Minister says there is no establishment of a 3rd gender because "sex and gender terms are defined clearly".

In 2013, the progressive HHK administration adopted a gender equality law in Armenia which accepted the word "gender" as something that can change (acquired behavior). The adoption of Istanbul Convention, which was signed by HHK in January 2018, doesn't add anything new to the table in regards to gender definition. Minister labeled the ongoing 3rd gender talk as "manipulations by small circles". 🥙

Justice Minister said there are those, like the church, who have legitimate concerns about some terminology in the convention. Ministry held "constructive talks" with the church about this.

Ministry says stronger family abuse laws were established in Armenia in the 12st century and were part of strong traditional values.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983162.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983134.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983132.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983126.html

Dozens of suggestions have been sent to Yerevan municipality through the new Active Citizen portal. The author of one of them says the municipality has agreed to give an area in Davtashen district to turn it into a dog park that can be used for leisure, dog competitions, temporary shelter for dogs..

https://factor.am/170978.html

Mayor Hayko Marutyan is fed up with Sanitek garbage collecting company. Company's representative was invited to today's municipality session, where he said he doesn't know whether the company, which has exclusive contract for garbage collection, has plans to increase their fleet of cars and garbage bins to solve the improper garbage cleanup problem.

Mayor said this is the 3rd month he's hearing the same answer. If the municipality itself hadn't purchased garbage trucks to do some of the work, the situation would be worse, said Marutyan, reminding the company that they have a legal contract that requires the company to do all the work.

The mayor said the city needs 16,000 garbage bins but only has 4,000 broken ones. The city recently bought a batch of new garbage bins at its expense and will install them in Davtashen district.

https://www.facebook.com/Yerevanofficial/videos/2365732713715878/ --- http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/271516/

PM's office has saved 76mln by cutting padavat car use. Money will be used to repair the government building. Parliament saved 404mln through various means and returned the funds to the budget.

http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/271504

Update: in 2018, the authorities begun auditing Shirak State University for their 2009-2018 work. As of right now, 8 felony embezzlement and abuse of power instances were found.

Few hundred million Drams are missing. In another instance, the money that was collected to be sent to Artsakh to repair damage from the 2016 April Battles, was not sent. 👏 👏 👏

Money was collected from students for diploma preparations but records don't show any such work was done.

Tens of millions stolen by falsifying money spent by the officials on unnecessary work transportation.

Various officials including the rector and deputy rector are implicated. SIS will take over the investigation.

https://factor.am/170933.html

NSS monitored and busted an IRS worker for demanding 2mln and taking 1mln bribe in exchange for not causing problems for a business. NSS advises businesses not to give a bribe and to contact them shall they face similar problems. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983190.html --- https://www.facebook.com/armenpress/videos/354211728844655/

Update: judge Davit Grigoryan gave a verdict in May that freed Kocharyan. That verdict was later found to be invalid and overturned by the Appeals court.

Few months before the Kocharyan trial, this same judge was reported for a judicial malpractice and possibly felony coverup. The accuser, who was a plaintiff in one of the cases presided by the judge, reported that the judge didn't properly notify both sides about the trial, which resulted in alleged damages to the reporter. The judge then allegedly falsified documents go cover up his "mistake".

The judge was questioned by the investigators. He admitted the "mistake" but said it was unintentional. The prosecutors didn't press charges until the accuser presented more evidence that allegedly showed intentional cover up by the judge. That's when the prosecutors relaunched the felony investigation. By then, this judge was already known for being the "Kocharyan judge". Critics decried persecution and pressure on courts, while prosecutors said this case begun long before he freed Kocharyan, and is unrelated to Kocharyan case.

The Supreme Court Council (collection of judges who can punish/defends other judges) revealed that the prosecutors petitioned for judge Grigoryan to be suspended due to several instances of malicious document forgery he is accused of.

The council of judges discussed the petition, and found 2 instances of document forgery accusations to be credible (not a guilty verdict), and decided to suspend judge Davit Grigoryan so the prosecutors can do their work.

https://factor.am/170920.html --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPUhacbRh3c

Former regime's Gagik Harutyunyan (recently resigned from Supreme Court Council chief position) and another member are Armenia's representatives in Venice Commission. These representatives submit their opinions to the Venice, which uses it to form reports. Armenian government has decided to send the 3rd representative, not loyal to the former regime, to "balance" the representation.

www.civilnet.am/news/2019/07/29/Հակակշիռ-Վենետիկի-հանձնաժողովում-Հայաստանը-նոր-թեկնածու-է-առաջադրել/364909 --- https://www.venice.coe.int/WebForms/members/default.aspx?lang=EN

35,000 more people/businesses were registered as taxpayers in Jun-2019 vs Jun-2018.

The number of active taxpayers rose by 25,000.

The number of registered workers rose by 60,000.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/983160.html --- http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/271513


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cjgfr0/anticorruption_news_jul292019_judicial_council/

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