2019 June 4
Anti-Corruption & News: Jun/4/2019: At last, a former police official charged w/ murdering a protester on March 1st, 2008.... 20 forestry officials charged; 1.6bln... 2 directors... ARF; Roboserj groups; police... Parliament votes... Human Rights Ombudsman... Central Bank... 2016 invstg... more
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.
The Special Investigative Service is pressing murder charges against a former police official for using a firearm to murder a man named Zakar Hovhanisyan during the March 1st-2nd, 2008 events. The suspect is Gegham Petrosyan, the former deputy commander of the police forces. The victim received a gunshot wound in the abdomen near the bazaar on Mashtoc St.
The prosecutors and NSS are pressing felony charges against 20 more officials working at Dilijan National Park gov-run forest protection agency. They are accused of cutting trees, falsifying records to cover up illegal logging, abuse of power. 1.6bln in damages done between 2016-2018.
18 other officials from Stepanavan's Hayantar organization are charged in a similar story about cut trees and 101mln damage to the state https://armenpress.am/arm/news/977183.html
Justice Minister Zeynalyan says the re-appointment of Constitutional Court candidate Grigoryan is legal. Said the Ministry cannot legally dissolve the Supreme Court Council, when asked by journalists.
The Human Rights Ombudsman testified in front of Parliament that during 2016-2018, when he was serving under the Serj administration, the government did pressure the judicial system. The courts had internal and external problems. https://factor.am/156879.html
Sisian hospital's two former directors have been charged with embezzling state funds by falsifying salaries for several workers to pay out more and steal the remainder.
The police will not press charges against the anti-Roboserj activist who earlier said he would not hesitate to call upon people to break Artsakh president Bako Sahakyan's head if the latter tries to meddle with Kocharyan case by aiding him, for example by providing hiding shelter for him. The police did not find enough evidence of a felony. https://factor.am/156896.html
The police will not press felony charges against Roboserj activists whom a QP MP accused of assaulting him. He claimed that he was in a cafe near Cascade when the group begun insulting and pushing him. The MP says he was threatened by the group and was told that he was lucky his family was with him at the time. The police didn't find enough evidence of a crime.
The police will not press felony charges against anti-Kocharyan activists who threw insults at a popular ARF official Hrant Margaryan near the Opera building few weeks earlier. When the Kocharyan verdict happened, many protesters marched on the street. Near the Opera building they noticed Hrant Margaryan and his family, and begun calling him a traitor (ARF supports Kocharyan, activists don't like it). A woman splashed water in the air close to Margaryan's [adult] son; the latter cursed at her. The woman's friend confronted the son about it, and it escalated into people pushing one another.
The police did not find enough evidence of a criminal conduct and will not press charges against the anti-Kocharyan activists.
Days after this incident, one of the anti-Kocharyan activists gave an interview to Hetq media in which he showed a bruise and said he was beaten presumably by ARF and other Roboserj supporters near his place, because of his participation in the Hrant Margaryan story.
Two weeks later, he showed more bruises and claimed he was assaulted the second time, and he believes it is for his anti-Kocharyan/ARF activism. This time he contacted the police, and says the attack happened near his workplace and there could be video cameras nearby.
A high ranking ARF official Gegham Manukyan says he was one of the people who assaulted the man. Says he slapped him because of the activist's earlier verbal confrontation with the ARF official near Opera, and for being generally disrespectful. Another participant Yura Hovhanisyan was called to police station and questioned in regards to the beating; he is a suspect. As a sign of protest, 18 other ARF members came forward and, possibly falsely, reported that they were the ones who beat the man.
The police has opened a felony investigation. Yuri Hovhanisyan is told not to leave the country.
May 20 report https://hetq.am/hy/article/103844 ---June 3 report https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162967 --- June 4 followup https://armtimes.com/hy/article/163070 -- ARF official assumes responsibility http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163091 --- https://news.am/arm/news/516465.html --- https://news.am/arm/news/516488.html
An incident happened between Roboserj activists and a journalist, resulting in the journalist being fired by "24News" network, whose owner is friends with the Roboserj activists.
This is the journalist's story: She went to cover the group's protest outside of George Soros's office in Yerevan. She asked the activist leader Narek Malyan if he has evidence that Soros is directing people in Pashinyan office, after the activist accused Pashinyan office of colluding with Soros. Activist said he will soon provide evidence, but didn't like the challenging question. Other activists begun following and filming her around. She asked them to stop, they didn't. They threatened her with some kind of retribution, according to her.
During this confrontation, a journalist from another Roboserj "Analitik" outlet stepped in. Apparently this journalist went to jail for blackmailing some Parliament MP a while ago. She asked this journalist about what the latter has been up to after getting out of jail. The journalist didn't like the question and left.
She was then told to return to her office, where the boss got mad and fired her for asking the uncomfortable questions to the activists. The boss said he is friends with the activist leader Narek Malyan and could have helped her to end the confrontation. End of her story.
Activist Narek Malyan is the former adviser to embattled former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan. He was recently dumped into a garbage can.
The QP has begun investigating the April 2016 war details. Sessions will be closed for the public due to military secrets. It could last 6 months or more. The areas of the examination are technical supplies of the army, reserve's abilities, combat readiness, whether the orders were carried out, military intelligence efficiency, whether the administration gave the correct or legal orders to counter the enemy's advancements, will hear the battle participants or their families for any information. The committee will have the right to examine secrets and call officials for questioning if necessary.
The Parliament was roasting the Central Bank chief. Many MPs asked questions, here is one episode:
BHK MP Bagratyan isn't happy with Central Bank's lack of reforms to boost the economy and investments. Urged them to work more with the agriculture and farming industry.
MP offered to create cooperative banks. Several provincial settlements create one bank for themselves, with the help of government financing. The settlement residents are the shareholders. The bank gives farming loans at low interest rate.
Central Bank chief earlier said there is no excessive outflow of funds (by former officials). The MP believes it is because the money is stolen and the former officials aren't moving it to overseas because they can't prove the destination banks that the money isn't stolen.
He also spoke about the broader need to raise salaries to increase the population's purchasing power. He was happy about the Bank's efforts to control the inflation, noting that it's more stable than in neighboring states.
Last year Pashinyan asked the banks to pardon some of low income residents' unpaid debts and improve their credit history.
Central Bank gives the report for the past year: 11.8bln in debt owed by 21,000 people has been forgiven. 127,000 people had their credit records improved.
The Parliament has unanimously adopted the QP bill that provides compensation to the victims (medium or serious injuries) of March 1st events, or their families if the victims have died.
It adopted the government-proposed bill that reduces Pativ Unem military service program length from 3 to 2 years. It will also allow 40 year olds to become contractors, up from 36. It allows 45 year olds with rare skills to join the military. Other changes.
It also voted in favor of several bills that are not yet a law and need a secondary vote. For example, BHK bills that bans age discrimination during job hiring process, and a bill that pardons lad taxes for farmers whose land was damaged by a natural disaster
Last week Pashinyan met Kazakh president and others during the EAEU summit. A followup meeting took place between a Parliamentary group and KZ businesses.
Annual Trade between Armenia and Kazakhstan is only $17mln, partly due to expensive transit route. Both sides are now discussing ways to reduce the cost. Goods transfer can be done through KZ-Caspian-RUS-GEO-AM, or KZ-Turkmen-Iran-AM.
BHK MP Melkumyan met KZ-AM businessmen who agreed to invest in construction businesses. He will soon propose a bill to make such foreign investments easier, said the MP.
QP Beghloyan says they are discussing with Kazakh official to open a TUMO-like education center in Kazakhstan. There are other areas of cooperation as well and they'll discuss it further when the Kazakh delegation arrives in Armenia this October.
LHK member said the Kazakh embassy said they want to enter in the fuel business in Armenia.
The government is working on eliminating the progressive income taxation (23%, 28%, 36%) to set a 23% (later 20%) flat rate.
The Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia, and the Union of Employers of Armenia for Information and Communication Technology (thank you Google Translate) have welcomed the initiative, calling it necessary to prevent the brain-drain in the high tech and other fields where the workers have been hit heavily due to the high 36% tax. They believe lower taxes will boost the investments and put more money in people's hands.
In Yerevan, Pashinyan participated in a business forum Corporacion America CAAP, with 120 heads of various airports and airways industry leaders. He thanked CAAP for good management of Zvartnots airport, and Ernekian family for their contributions.
He stressed the importance of prioritizing the renovation of Gyumri Airport, which will reduce air travel cost tourism, etc. He wants to work with Zvartnots and CAAP to create Armenian airlines companies for increased competition and options .
Said Zvartnots is reaching its maximum capacity, "which is good", so they are currently talking about enlarging it.
CAAP will take care of Zvartnots's old tower building which was designated as a historical monument last year. They will work with the government to make more investments.
They recently finished negotiations with architects and will soon begin to repair the Gyumri airport.
Pashinyan has begun appointing deputy Ministers and aides. Earlier he appointed Ministers to the newly reformed government ministries https://hetq.am/hy/article/104301
500 Made in Armenia TV units have hit the shelves. 3,700 to come soon. They're about $240. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ-kSgEicDM
Yerevan municipality is destroying another illegal building, this one on Komotas-Vagharshyan st.
ConIFA soccer competition results in Artsakh.
Weightlifter Karen Avagyan has won a tiny bronze in the world youth championship.
No lights in the Parliament building lel. (Levon is back in power smh)
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bwt7y2/anticorruption_news_jun42019_at_last_a_former/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|