2019 June 21

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - Jun/21/2019: Constitution Court debate; court accepts Kocharyan case...... another Supreme Court Council member appointed..... Former mayor busted..... Bill about non-cash salary payments.... Survey..... Driver's license proposal..... Army news.... Neighbors... 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.

When Vahe Girgoryan had the swearning-in ceremony as the newly appointed Constitutional Court judge yesterday, he said there are only 2 "real judges" at the moment, him and judge Dilanyan. The new Constitution was implemented in April of 2018. The old Constitution and the new one define the members with different terms, as "members" and "judges", thus opening a room for debate and interpretation whether the old "members" are considered full-fledged "judges" under the new Constitution. If not, then either these members have to be re-elected as judges, or new judges should be appointed.

Grigoryan, now as a Constitutional Court judge, interpreted the terms "member" and "judge" as being different, which is why he believes Dilanyan, who was also appointed under the new Constitution, is the only other "real judge". Meanwhile, there are currently other "members" of the Constitutional Court appointed under the old Constitution, including the the acting chief "member" judge Hrayr Tovmasyan.

Because of this interpretation, Girgoryan said that he is the acting chief judge of the Constitutional Court, because the only other "real judge" Dilanyan is away on vacation (in my yesterday's post I confused Dilanyan with Tovmasyan).

Some politicians agreed with this interpretation, others yielded and said it's up to Constitutional Court to decide. Others disagreed with Grigoryan, saying that Hrayr Tovmasyan being a "member" is the same as being a judge, and is the real acting chief judge.

One of the arguments that an old "member" and a new "judge" are different, is that under the new Constitution, the "judges" have to meet new standards compared to what was required from the "members" appointed under the old constitution. Because the old "members" haven't gone through the Parliamentary approval after the implementation of the new Constitution, they can't be considered as being real "judges". Not everyone agrees with this.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/164480 --- https://factor.am/162082.html --- https://hraparak.am/post/1298508295


Today, the Constitutional Court went to work, headed by "member" chief judge Hrayr Tovmasyan. He was asked to comment on the speech made by Vahe Grigoryan about there being only 2 real judges, and Grigoryan being the acting chief. Tovmasyan said he'll comment later.



Judge Vahe Grigoryan also went to work. The court held a session, but the topic of the title of the chief judge wasn't discussed during the session. Grigoryan left the session early, after privately meeting "member" chief judge Hrayr Tovmasyan and others, to discuss his (Girogryan's) status in the Constitutional Court. He referred to the meetings as "constructive".



After Vahe Grigoryan's departure from the session, the Constitutional Court headed by "member" chief judge Hrayr Tovmasyan continued the session, and decided to accept Cassations Court's (and Kocharyan's) May 18th petition to accept the case, and to decide whether Law 300.1 and Law 135 are Constitutional or not. The hearing is scheduled for August 29th.

It is unclear how this will affect the ongoing challenge-trial brought by the prosecutors in the Cassations Court.

http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/270227 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164464 -- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164468 --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/164479


A QP MP, who used to be a lawyer, complains about Hrayr Tovmasyan having double-standards in the decision to accept Kocharyan's case to the Constitutional Court. Says in past, when he was a lawyer and submitted similar cases, he was rejected dozens of times.



Protester Vardges Gaspari and a group of others were outside of the Constitutional Court building, demanding Hrayr Tovmasyan to resign, referring him to as Serj's puppet.


In other news..

The Parliament is voting on the second Supreme Court Council member appointment in two days. 5 of them had earlier resigned after protests. The candidate is Vigen Kocharyan. The candidate is a Deputy Justice Minister since 2015. QP believes he is capable of handling the upcoming judicial reforms. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164458


The Parliament voted 114 AYE - 4 NYE to appoint him.


NSS has busted the former mayor of Dzorakap. He is accused of falsifying documents in 2014 to commit a land embezzlement, which allowed someone to sell the stolen land for 84mln to North-South highway project so it could do its works.


The Parliament has approved the initial draft of the QP bill that, if passed, will require the companies with more than 10 workers to use non-cash methods to pay salaries. Exception can be made for disabled people and those who have a permission to receive cash (unclear how). The author earlier said it's part of the fight against the shadow economy.


The Parliament has ratified the agreement signed between the governments of Armenia and Korea, which talks about mutually improving business and investments conditions, providing safety and fairness guarantees.


Breavis research says only half of Armenians are willing to get a new profession.

About 69% of those 18-30yo; 60% of 31-45, 35% of 46-60, 22% of above 61 responded positively. Slightly over half of those who responded positively already have a university degree. Most popular professions were doctor, economist, linguist, lawyer, pedagogical, IT.

More details inside..


The police is proposing to require C-class driver's license applicants to go through a mandatory training course before driving a truck. Currently, they can teach themselves before applying for license (Jesus Christ what?). Other commercial license applicants could be required to go through medical examination to assure they can drive safely.

They also want to get a (mandatory) permission from the applicants to tap into a unified electronic database to see if the applicant is registered in a mental clinic or is a known drug user.


President Armen Sarkissian is participating in an aviation expo in Paris. He again met French Dassalt Group company reps, who earlier visited Armenia to talk about possible high tech cooperation, after earlier being invited by Sarkissian.

Sarkissian asked the rep about plans to create a research center in Armenia that will do AI, match and other tech research. The rep said the plan is ready to form a cooperation in education and tech field, and that they'll pay the second visit to Armenia soon.

Դասո սիստեմս»-ը ծրագրային ապահովում է տրամադրում ռազմաարդյունաբերական, ավիացիոն–տիեզերական, պաշտպանական, էներգետիկ համակարգերին

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/979341.html - - - - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/979337.html


He held a similar meeting with Italian Elettronica Group, a company that produces military equipment, cyber security and AI. The reps agreed to visit Armenia to discuss future plans. THALES French high firm reps also agreed to make a follow-up visit to Armenia.

https://factor.am/162071.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/979379.html

Foreign minsters of Armenia and Azerbaijan met. OSCE expressed regret over the recent escalation that took away lives on both sides, and urged ceasefire. Both sides agreed to use the established contacts to deescalate the situation.


Artsakh army continues its military exercises. The commanding units were trained. Targets were fired upon with new weapons. Night time trainings. Missile units are ready for firing within 6 minutes after a command is issued.


- - https://www.lragir.am/2019/06/21/453630/

Pics from the front lines. Solar energy is used for lighting and equipment operation https://razm.info/136615

Defense Ministry is negotiating with China and India to purchase unknown weapons. Spokesman says a progress has been made. https://razm.info/136646

Protests begun in Georgia during yesterday's Parliament session during which Russian politicians, among with other Orthodox delegates, were invited to discuss a religious topic. The Russian MP sat at the chair of the Parliament Speaker and spoke in Russian. This angered many Georgians. The protesters called the Russian delegation "occupants" and demanded the Parliament speaker and several other officials to resign for allowing it to happen.

Opposition party coordinated the protests, which lasted overnight. 305 people were detained during the protests. Several cars were destroyed. The police shot rubber bullets at those trying to enter the Parliament building. Hundreds of people were hospitalized, 80 policemen injured. 12 journalists injured, one of whom lost the eye from a rubber bullet impact.

Georgian Prime Minister said their party members made a mistake. Said the bloody protests were a result of mistakes made by both (gov and opposition) sides. He accused the opposition of crossing the line.

Parliament speaker prematurely ended his trip to Azerbaijan, canceling the meeting with Aliyev. He resigned.

The day after the incident which led to Russian politicians flee the country, Russian president Putin signed an order to end cargo flights to Georgia, and urged tourism agencies not to send Russians to Georgia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixkpdnk_bkU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhv8R01yPyQ https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164419 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164470 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164455 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164456 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164437 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164434 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164415 https://armtimes.com/hy/article/164431 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/979296.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/164503

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/c3ferj/anticorruption_news_jun212019_constitution_court/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports