2019 July 8

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - Jul/8/2019: 25-year old murder case re-opened; Defense Ministry; Kocharyan's medal.......... PM in Singapore & Vietnam.......... Municipality........ Burglary rates........ Foreign affairs, OCSE....... Sweden FM & Genocide fake news...... Vaxx stats... 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.

In 1994, a shooting and a death of a man took place in former MP Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan's mansion in Ejmiatsin. The victim was the Toch Pribor factory director. Manvel's cousin, also an MP, was found guilty of improper use of weapon and accidental death. He was sentenced to 1 year in prison.

In 2018, after the revolution, the victim's son went to the police and notified that the death wasn't an accident, and that Manvel's cousin purposely murdered the victim in a different place - in a restaurant - during a personal conflict, then took steps to cover up the crime by staging it as an accidental shooting in the house.

The report says there were other witnesses as well. After the murder, it says Manvel Grigoryan himself went to the victim's family and threatened them with physical retaliation if they didn't keep their mouths shut. The victim's family had to flee the country.

Prosecutors found evidence confirming the story, and an evidence that the former Defense Ministry was involved in the cover-up by filing false paperwork claiming that the victim died during a military service in Artsakh's Mataghis region.

In 2002, president Robert Kocharyan, despite the victim's death documents being falsified, issued the victim a medal of bravery for dying in a military service.

The felony case has been re-opened. Prosecutors demand a new trial for Manvel's cousin. Felony investigation is launched regarding document falsification allegations.


PM Pashinyan visited Vietnam, discussed several things, including investments. Nine large Vietnamese firms have agreed to begin talks to enter the Armenian tech, alcohol, and other markets. A follow-up meeting is scheduled in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980894.html -- https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2019/07/05/Armenian-PM-Vietnam/2136898

Pashinyan's visit to Singapore continues. He met Singapore's PM. They discussed Singapore's experience in fighting corruption and improving business, as well as changes brought after the 2018 revolution in Armenia. They spoke about a free trade agreement between EAEU and Singapore. Agreed to create Armenian cultural days in Singapore to improve tourism to Armenia.

They signed several papers to prevent double-taxation and tax avoidance, a memorandum to improve tourism through B2B meetings and other methods, a memorandum to cooperate in education field, a memorandum of cooperation between Singapore's national parks and a botanical institute in Armenia.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165654 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165693


Pashinyan gave a speech in which he praised the work done by former Singapore PM Lee Kwan Yew, who is credited with turning Singapore from a 3rd world country into a modern state. LKY had visited Armenia in 2009. Pashinyan said LKY is viewed as a symbol of effective and honest governance in Armenia. "Today Armenia also values meritocracy, pragmatism and honesty", added Pashinyan.



PM met Singaporean Temasek Holdings company reps for a possible high tech cooperation. Reps agreed to hold talks about investments and engineering education. Reps were invited to visit Armenia for this Autumn's international tech conference. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165640

Armenian delegation met Singapore businesses in a forum https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/165707

China donated some equipment to the Armenian army. Defense Ministry and Chinese representative visited a military unit to play with the merchandise. Not much details. https://www.lragir.am/2019/07/06/457681/

A bad car accident happened in Ararat province. A Toyota pickup went on the oncoming traffic and hit a minibus. 6 minibus passengers died and dozen were wounded when the minibus's gas canister busted, engulfing it in fire.

Toyota's driver is arrested. No one was drunk. Minibus driver couldn't swerve the car to avoid the impact because the accident happened on a narrow bridge.



Minister of Emergency thinks all transport cars must be equipped with fire extinguishers, and diesel fuel should be used instead of gas, for safety reasons. The emergency crew arrived 3 minutes after the call, but it was too late due to highly inflammable nature of the gas. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165643

Some citizens also have concerns about gas canisters. Others think the problems caused by gas is rare, yet gas allows the transportation to be cheap because gas is cheaper than diesel. Most agreed that minibuses should be repaired or replaced with normal sized buses. https://youtu.be/vfZnhVlH_T0?t=11

Several opposition Yerkir Tsirani activists were briefly detained (and facing hooliganism charges) after dumping large quantities of garbage at the entrance of Yerevan municipality. They complained that the garbage collecting wasn't done for 21 days in one of the buildings. They urged residents to get together and help clean up the trash from the city.

City accused Sanitek company of not doing their duties, and said the city's own newly purchased garbage truck fleet will have more units soon. 2300 new garbage bins are also purchased.

The trouble with Sanitek begun few years ago when it became apparent that one company alone could not manage to clean up the whole city. After Hayk Marutyan's election as a mayor, the pressure on Sanitek increased, and the company was fined numerous times for failing to clean the garbage. The city can't easily get rid of Sanitek due to the ongoing contract, and instead recently chose to "compete" with them by buying their own fleet of garbage cleaning trucks. Sanitek is currently suing the city for revert some of the penalties, and to get paid for something that the city says Sanitek failed to do.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980985.html -- https://factor.am/165790.html --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/165728

Yerevan municipality has launched the ActiveCitizen.am portal which allows residents to submit ideas around city's projects and help to shape the future. Residents be able to vote on ideas after registering accounts with valid ID cards to confirm they are Yerevan residents. Projects worth 30mln can be submitted, and if deemed to be desirable, the city will do it. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AW2ofSRleho

--- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981022.html

Home burglaries in Shirak have declined by 40% after an earlier significant increase that was seen since last year. Prosecutors say they've identified vulnerable areas and took actions to prevent the crime. They increasing patrol vehicles in single family home districts and installed more entrance locks in apartment buildings. 127 cameras were installed in vulnerable areas.

57% of burglary cases were solved in 1Q19, compared to 37% in 1Q18.


Last year Roboserj outlet Politik (and a leader of some NGO) published a hit piece against deputy PM Tigran Avinyan, accusing him of smoking illegal marijuana in the government building, per unnamed "sources". Avinyan sued the publisher for "defamation".

The court has ruled that the publisher defamed Avinyan by passing the rumors as a fact. Avinyan will receive 1mln. He will donate it to a journalism school to help future journalists be "professional". The defendant has a month to either challenge the verdict, or pay the fine and issue a public retraction.


HHK former politicians and Hraparak media criticized QP MP Hayk Sargsyan for allegedly organizing a tour for his friends to show them the new Presidential building. Critics remembered that in the old days, it was very hard for anyone to enter the presidential building without multiple layers of approval. They want the MP to resign for "unethical conduct".

The president's office staff released a statement saying that the group did not enter, and did not receive a permission to enter the new building, ever since the presidential residence was recently moved from the old to the new building.

https://factor.am/165882.html -- https://factor.am/165939.html -- https://factor.am/165869.html -- https://hraparak.am/post/212149684

Georgian Rustavi-2 TV host Giorgia Gaboonia threw a chain of curses at Vladimi Putin and his mother while on live TV. The move was condemned by Georgia's journalists ethics committee, TV's director, and various Georgian officials. TV host is suspended for 2 months.


-- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165634 -- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165652 -- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/165724


Putin spokesman Peskov condemned the host's actions. Russian Parliament members called for relations with Georgia to be "frozen". https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165700


Direct travel flight ban between Russia and Georgia starts today.

Georgian Airways has doubled the number of flights to Armenia. New flights between Batumi-Yerevan will also be made. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981010.html


Russian Pobeda airways will increase the flights from Gyumri Airport to Russia. Armenia airlines will have two daily flights between Yerevan and Moscow since July 8th.

Both airways will use bigger planes to accommodate for the increased demand.


2019 vaxxing stats by Gallup conducted around the world.

42% of Armenians think vaccines are safe (vs 79% of world population). 21% think they can be dangerous (vs 7% of world population).

72% of North America, 59% of West Europe, 40% of East Europe think it's safe.

55% of Armenians think vaccines are effective (vs 84% world). 12% think vaccines are not effective (vs 5% word).

Armenian groups who are more likely to think vaccines are dangerous: younger people under 30, those earning average salary, those with lower education degrees.

90% of Armenian and 92% of World parents have vaccinated their kids.

For karmruk epidemic to be prevented, 90-95% of the population must have the vaccine. For polio that's 85%.


Armenian delegation in OSCE Parliamentary Assembly lobbied to remove an Azeri-lobbied parts of a proposed resolution, which contained anti-Armenian wording in regards to Artsakh issue. The document contained a negative clause about "7 regions of Azerbaijan", which was eventually voted to be removed, with the resolution's author eventually voting in favor of its removal.

Two favorable additions were made. One stated that the negotiations have brought significant positive improvements and that Minks Group countries should continue to be the mediators. The other change stated that Artsakh issue must be resolved by respecting ceasefire, territorial integrity, and people's right for self-determination.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980925.html --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjqL8zf6Byw


In another instance, the delegation was able to counter Turkish-Azeri lobbying which wanted to prevent OSCE assembly from adopting an Armenian Genocide related resolution. The assembly adopted the resolution, praising Italian Parliament's recent recognition of the Genocide, and the recent French law that established April 24th as an Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

https://factor.am/165660.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980915.html

Czech Republic becomes the 17th state to ratify the EU-AM comprehensive cooperation agreement. They sent the decision to European Council. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/165705

Ermenihaber outlet's investigation finds that Turkish and Azeri media outlets spread misleading news about Swedish Foreign Minister allegedly denying the 1915 events as being a Genocide.

When asked about it, the Foreign Minister denied denying the Genocide. She pointed out to the transcripts in which she said that experts explain the lack of Genocide recognition by many governments as being due to the topic being "complicated".

Sweden recognized the Genocide in 2010.


An accident happened in one of Azeri military facilities. 2 soldiers were killed and 9 were wounded after a soldier "dropped" a warhead while transporting it. https://razm.info/137158

Tourists like the 6KM-long world's longest aerial tramway TaTever in Syunik. It takes them to Tatev monastery and Devil's Bridge. Locals, in turn, are selling their stuff to make money. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk6u3ozeoow

Mulberry festival in Syunik. Tashi tushi and թութ թափ տվեցին https://youtu.be/8LYiPyjDSeA?t=82

-- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/980913.html

What is wrong with this article? https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2019/07/06/Clock-production/2137501

Meanwhile in Finland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfWXaLz1TvM

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/car5iu/anticorruption_news_jul82019_25year_old_murder/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports














2019 Daily Armenia Reports