2019 June 18
Anti-Corruption & News - Jun/18/2019- NSS: Former Syunik governor used his powers to shut down non-friendly business.... Kocharyan trial; threats.... Tushonka stays in zakat.... New Constitutional Court judge..... Mayor is charged..... Salaries.... China & Belt... Stats.... many more stories inside
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.
Cassations Court judge has ruled that Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan should remain behind the bars. The defense will challenge the verdict in ECHR.
Kocharyan's "release" verdict challenge has resumed in the Cassations Court. The judge had earlier refused to recuse himself when asked by Kocharyan team. Today, the judge also turned down anti-Kocharyan lawyer's petition for his recusal. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164160
During the last session, Kocharyan threatened the court or those involved with the lawsuit against him, with "harsh consequences". This raised the prosecutor's ire.
Today's session wasn't peaceful either. One of the defense lawyers was reading something when the judge interrupted and wanted to clarify a detail. After this, the judge asked the lawyer to sit and wait for his opportunity to speak on that topic, because that topic was meant to be discussed at a later time. The judge said he would give the lawyer an opportunity to speak later. The lawyer didn't like the interruption and kept talking over the judge. Things got heated. The judge asked the lawyer numerous times to seat and wait. The judge said the lawyer could be sanctioned for the "disruptive behavior".
This exchange caused the second defense lawyer to laugh. The judge asked the second lawyer to behave appropriately. Even more heated exchange ensued between the two. The lawyer apparently swung with his finger, while telling the judge not to tell him he can't laugh, and that this time he (the lawyer) is asking the judge "nicely". The judge felt threatened and asked the lawyer if the finger swinging was directed towards him.
The lawyer kept arguing that he had the right to make a statement, while the judge kept insisting that the lawyer will be given the right to speak about that topic when the appropriate time arrives. The heated exchange continued for a few minutes.
The court took a break to cool things off. Things then got heated between anti-Kocharyan members in the room, and Kocharyan's lawyers.
Քաղաքացին Kocharyani pastabanin ասաց. «Թուրք, լրագրողը քեզ հարց ա տալիս, դու թուրքերեն ես պատասխանում»։ Ի պատասխան՝ Ռուբեն Սահակյանն ասաց. «Թուրքը դու ես: Լավ եմ անում, որովհետև անհասկացող ա»։
The judge asked those present for forgiveness for the heated situation in the court.
Kocharyan's protesters and supporters were outside. The protesters wanted to close the building doors. Several protesters attempted to enter the building. Five protesters were briefly taken to a police station for a questioning.
The session will continue tomorrow. 10 legal representatives of March 1st victims will be present, presumably to argue against Kocharyan's release.
Update: The Parliament has approved 99 AYE - 22 NAY the appointment of Vahe Grigoryan as a Constitutional Court judge. The ruling QP and some opposition MPs supported him. Before becoming a judge, Grigoryan will stop providing legal counseling to some of the March 1st victims in order to avoid a future conflict of interest. He has already quit from some of the 80 legal cases that he is handling in European Court for Human Rights.
50/50? LoL no... 100/0? Pfff... How about 0/0 bitch
NSS has busted the embattled former Syunik governor Surik Liska Khachatryan with abuse of power and falsification.
In 2016, governor Surik found out that people with whom he had bad relations had purchased a land to build a hotel on it. NSS says that the governor then took steps to prevent the work from happening. He allegedly illegally instructed a local official to give a piece of land, which was necessary for hotel to operate, to someone under his control. As a result, the investors couldn't operate the hotel and had to abandon the project.
(Surik Khachatryan acted as a governor twice, between 2004-2016. He was recently accused of orchestrating fake assassination attempt against himself to frame it on his opponents unrelated to the above story. His son faked documents to avoid military service.)
Mrgastan, Armavir mayor is facing 2 felony embezzlement charges for allegedly stealing taxpayer money between 2016-2018. He is told not to leave the country.
Update: The investigators found that the former director of a charity initiative that gave housing to Gyumri residents who suffered from the earthquake, did not break a law. An investigation was launch after the new director reported that the former director violated some laws during the distribution.
Update: BHK chief Gagik Tsarukyan, for the second time, has refused to meet the investigators and answer questions about the arson attack case in Abovyan city. He sent a letter to investigators to explain why.
The government decided to invest 6.2bln on subsidizing 239 infrastructure projects in provinces, during the last several sessions.
At the request of the government, the Parliament is discussing the removal of two of Armenia's largest cancer screening and treatment centers from the privatization list. In past, a list was created that contained the institutions that would be privatized between 2017-2020. Now, the government thinks it's too risky to privatize those two.
Marriages are up by 521, divorces are down by 151, in the first 5 months of 2019 vs same period last year. Around 6000 marriages and 1500 divorces.
Although very little, mandatory army conscripts also get paid every month. Currently it's between $7-$11 per month, depending on the soldier's military rank.
The Defense Ministry wants to raise the payments to soldiers because they've been receiving the same amount since 2009, despite the inflation and 33% consumer price growth since then. It is proposed to raise the salaries in dangerous borders by $4, and by $2 for others.
This is separate from the 20% salary raise that the hired soldiers begun to receive beginning this month.
Yerevan municipality has approved the plan to form a new city cleaning department consisted of 424 workers. The minimum wage for street cleaning crew and other street workers will be 200k. The department chief will earn 850k, which is higher than mayor Marutyan's salary.
Municipality says good wages are necessary to see good results.
(A tiny violin is playing for a saddened libertarian somewhere in Colorado who wants to see a one-man municipality led by a wizard who can do all the work for $1/month.)
Zvartnots airport wants to let you park your car for up to 30 days, for $20.
The police raided the residences of several thieves-in-law (vor v zakone) and found illegal objects.
During an "Armenia Fund" (telethon thing) board meeting, Pashinyan said that in order to increase the participation and prevent donation loss, there need to be strategic changes in how the funds are collected.
He suggested creating a panarmenian budget, which could help to increase the Armenian diaspora's participation in the Armenian culture, with the purpose of preventing the cultural heritage from being forgotten among them. This means some of the projects could be done outside of Armenia, and it won't be 100% about building a road or a school in Armenia.
He wants to change the general perception of the Armenia Fund so it won't be viewed solely as a place where you give money, but rather a method of interacting and involving with Armenianism.
Armenia fund hired an auditor to check their finances and the quality of the work at 18 randomly picked projects that the Fund was working on in 2018. The results came positive. Improvement in work efficiency was recorded in 2018.
The fund has sent $370mln aid to Armenia in its 27 years of operations. https://factor.am/160766.html
Armenian humanitarian group that removes mines and provides other services in Northern Syria had a charity initiative in Aleppo. 100 Syrian-Armenian families received aid sent from Armenia. Aleppo mayor and other officials were present at the event.
ARF has created a platform hayrenatarts.am to help guide the repatriated Armenians on how to obtain citizenship and get certain things done. https://www.lragir.am/2019/06/18/452668/
Minister of High Tech & Industry (formerly Transport and Infrastructure) says they are working on a new agreement with China to regulate and improve the two-way trade transportation between the countries. "This will solve some logistic obstacles during transportation."
This was part of a larger push to negotiate with the Chinese to include Armenia's North-South highway project in China's One Belt One Road initiative, and to connect the Persian Gulf to Black Sea. He says the Chinese expressed interest.
China also wants to build thick telecommunication cables between Asia and Europe. Some of it will go through Afghanistan and Iran, then pass either through Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey (each of these countries have to give reasons to pick their country).
During the meeting with the Chinese, the Minister told them that Armenia already has an existing optical cable infrastructure which connects Iraq and Iran to Armenia. Minister also informed the Chinese that during the North-South highway construction, Armenia plans to dig and expand those optical cable lines. According to him, the Chinese were pleasantly surprised to learn about the existence of this infrastructure.
After the newly elected Kazakh president Jomar Tokayev made great remarks about Armenia and expressed willingness to strengthen the ties, Azeri propagandists opted to spread fabricated stories to harm the Kazakh-Armenia relations. An Azeri website called ArmenianReport.com, which claims to be Armenian and uses a fake Armenian reporter name, while in reality is run by the admins of Azeri site News.Az, spread misinformation about Armenians allegedly insulting Kazakhs.
The 10,000 strong military exercise continues in Artsakh. S-300 and other missiles were tested. https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2019/06/18/Armenian-Artsakh-air-defense-forces-hold-military-exercises-with-live-fire/2129822
A mini-scandal happened few weeks ago when it was revealed that the Armenian army had the Azeri Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov pinpointed at a border, and that upon finding out about this, Hasanov left the border in a hurry. The Azeri official was at the border to participate in Azeri military exercises, according to his own past statement.
Now, Hasanov contradicts himself and says that Armenians could not have located and scared him away because Armenians don't have any mortars that can fire beyond 35KM. This statement means he either lied about visiting the frontline during the exercises and instead chose to remain deeper in their territory for safety reasons, or he is downplaying the threat of Armenian weaponry.
Greco-Roman Wrestler Vazgen Nazaryan wins silver in the European youth championship.
And so it begins.... Armavirites collect their first apricot yield. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI5SKKdfi08
This is Abovyan tuberculosis hospital's 500KW solar farm. Healthcare Minister Torosyan wants every hospital to have one. HIV medical center also has one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uehc7M0VkWU
Former UEFA boss Michel Platini has been arrested for suspicious circumstances that led to choosing Qatar as the 2022 World Cup, and a dinner he had with then president Saekozi shortly before the election that picked Qatar. Sarkozi had also invited Qatari official on a separate dinner regarding that event. It is suspected that Platini was "bribed" to ditch his support for US as the host. Platini's son was then hired as a sports supplier for a Qatari firm.
Embattled former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter will be questioned as well. Even he earlier accused Platini of having no standards by backing away from the "gentleman's deal" of picking US as the host.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/c279gg/anticorruption_news_jun182019_nss_former_syunik/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|