2019 June 5
Anti-Corruption & News - Jun/5/2019: March 1st suspect; bullet shells swapped; coverup... Mayor charged for "gifting" state property to former Syunik governor... director charged... NSS chief... Pashinyan... Anti-corruption Court... Nature protection... other 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.
Yesterday we learned about the first arrest regarding the March 1st shootings (Kocharyan is charged with Constitutional order toppling). A former high ranking police forces chief Gegham Petrosyan is accused of the murder of protester Zaqar Hovhanisyan.
He was questioned 4 times after the revolution, when the new March 1st investigatory committee was formed.
The investigators say: they believed he was being deceptive during the initial interrogations, but he did give some details, such as him ordering a military BTR to be brought to scene. He also gave names of other organizers who illegally dispersed the sleeping protestors on the morning of March 1st.
After questioning others, it became apparent that the police forces were [one of] the ones who shot from the firearms. A bullet used by his police forces was found in the abdomen of victim Zaqar Hovhanisyan. Another victim David Petrosyan's body also contained an identical bullet. The suspected admitted that their group carried the type of weapon that used those bullets. The suspect also admitted that they were armed with live ammunition when left their stations in the morning of March 1st. (while the protests were peaceful and people were sleeping. Premeditation?)
During the second interrogation, he testified that he gave orders to shoot. When questioned by SIS recently, the suspect admitted that he lied during the initial interrogations, and that he was told by higher ups to cover up the military's presence at the scene, and that they were ordered to swap bullet shells shot by army, with shells from police weapons, as part of a coverup of army presence.
He admitted to, among with others, participating in a gun range shootings with the purpose of accumulating lots of bullet shells which were then used to swap the army weapon shells that were at the possession of the former March 1st investigative committee (whose chief is also charged at the moment).
The suspect said that official Grigor Grigoryan directed him on what to do after swapping the shells.
The victim Z. H. was transported to hospital on the night of the events, 2am on March 2nd.
Investigator says one man is currently on the run; he is suspected of cover up as well. "The former General prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepyan has to answer why so many cover ups were possibly under his administration."
The investigators filed felony charges after discovering that in 2016, the Kapan mayor allegedly illegally privatized a city-owned property then gave it to the former Syunik governor as a gift, while attempting to present it as part of an unrelated legal land transaction that took place a year earlier.
The police says the former director of State Institute of Music and Theater embezzled 42mln by illegally leasing state property to others then collecting the funds for himself, beginning 1998.
NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan says they are still investigating the earlier disappearance of some documents from the agency's archives. It's presumably done to cover something up. The case will soon be transferred to Special Investigative Services, says Arthur V.
The NSS has asked the government for 2bln funding to build an agent training facility in Armenia, so they won't have to spend 240mln/year on sending the agents to other countries. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/163185
NSS has saved 472mln in 2018 and returned the funds to the state budget. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/977368.html
NSS chief Vanetsyan says his smartphone now has a program that will prevent the phone calls from being spied on. Says it uses a server installed in the NSS building. (self hosted "Skype" with VPN, or just a 30-day trial of McAfee antivirus?)
NSS has new contracts with Armenian programmers to provide some software, saving lots of money by not having to purchase it from abroad.
Ethics Committee of High-Ranking Officials is investigating the concerns raised by FIP outlet which suggested that QP MP Alen Simonyan made violations while disclosing his property ownership last year. FIP earlier backtracked on the claim that Simonyan illegally enriched himself, but insisted that there were irregularities in the disclosure timeline and the property.
Simonyan accepted that he made an error. Said he disclosed his property as of filing the papers (mid-2018), but he should have disclosed the property (topic was car) he owned beginning January.
Pashinyan said when he became PM, he became familiar with Artsakh negotiation progress. He approached Artsakh administration and found that the latter wasn't fully aware of all the details of the negotiations. The previous administration hid things from them.
He presented his stance on how to solve the conflict, and Artsakh leaders agreed with him. He criticized those who try to create a division between Armenia and Artsakh by claiming Nikol is here to sell Artsakh away. He blamed it on unnamed officials in Artsakh, who are friends with Roboserj.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/163152 -- www.civilnet.am/news/2019/06/05/Բակո-Սահակյանն-արձագանքել-է-Նիկոլ-Փաշինյանին/362162
Pashinyan has criticized ARF party for the violence against an anti-ARF activist. The activist says he called an ARF official a traitor but did not assault him.
Angry about the verbal confrontation, the ARF party member(s) found and beat the activist, then bragged about it, calling it necessary to protect national values and defend the honor of Artsakh authorities.
Pashinyan criticized the move, saying that a party that for decades plundered the country, army, citizens, has no right to talk about national values.
Says the police has to find out if the beating was the idea of few people, or if it was directed by the party.
Pashinyan said they'll soon create a new anti-corruption court system. Judge salaries must be significantly raised from the current 400k to 2-3mln in order to lower corruption risks. They are working with international organizations to make the court happen.
He hopes to get it done in 3 years. They are already working with donors about the financial part.
One of the Cassations judges who freed Kocharyan has asked NSS to file felony charges against an anti-Kocharyan Facebook user for an alleged defamation, after the latter made a lengthy Facebook post on the day of the verdict saying he had info about how the judges colluded with Kocharyan to give a favorable verdict.
It's been several days a small group of protesters have been demanding judicial reforms and resignations. Today they were outside of the building, demanding chief judge's resignation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=zgaI1UgyPBg
Nature protection Minister says they made reforms in the way companies are examined for a possible damage to nature. In recent times they caught 400 violations by mines and other firms, and sent them to authorities. 100 water distribution firms were caught with violations. Enforcement has improved significantly, with several times as many companies being caught. Their main goal from now on will be preventing the abuse instead of slapping a fine on it.
Salaries in some nature protection organizations rose by 40-100%.
The Public Services Regulatory Commission has issued another 10mln fine to Gazprom-Armenia, after it was found to have violated some protocol and licenses which resulted in consumer rights being violated.
Electric Networks firm was issued a warning for violating rules by signing some contracts for the period that is too long and causes anti-competitive situation during some construction.
BHK-stronghold Abovyan city will have mayoral elections this Sunday. Pashinyan dropped by and organized a march in support of the QP challenger. He reminded that the era of election rigging is over, and urged everyone to participate in the elections.
After the 2008 Georgian-Russian War, Georgia introduced an "anti-Russia" UN resolution to help re-settle their residents back in the regions. Armenia had always voted against it, in defense of Russia.
For the first time, Armenia did not vote against the bill this year, choosing to remain neutral. Russia, Belarus and few Russian allies voted against. Several former USSR republics also remained neutral. The resolution passed 79 AYE - 15 NYE - 57 IDGF. It will change absolutely nothing.
Apr2018 vs Apr2019: Clothing manufacturing rose by 64%. 1Q18 vs 1A19 it rose by 34%.
Processing industry rose by 16%.
Yerevan municipality has begun removing 30-year old garbage dumps from the archeological sight Karmir Blur (Teishebani).
Slovakia becomes the 14th (?) state to ratify the EU-Armenia comprehensive cooperation agreement https://armtimes.com/hy/article/163181
(Thank you Melania 🙏)
72KG Malkhas Amoyan won the wrestling European youth championship. Another bronze and silver were won by Sahak Hovhanisyan and Hayk Melikyan.
First Lady Anna Hakobyan published family photos from Pashinyan's birthday vacation. Denied rumors that they rented big tents. (no sighting of a helicopter either)
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bx78a1/anticorruption_news_jun52019_march_1st_suspect/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|