2019 March 4

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption March/4/2019: Municipality, lawsuits, garbage bins, Taron Margaryan foundation, laundering, narcotics could be de-criminalized for some cases, Pashinyan in Belgium, tariffs, George Soros, carnival, Azerbaijan, Iran, Armenia
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.

The police have arrested Vanadzor municipality worker during a bribery sting operation.


Health Minister Torosyan's legal team is accusing a judge of favoritism in favor of Serj's relative and the former St. Gregory Illuminator director Minasyan.

Last year the ministry uncovered hundreds of millions worth embezzlement and abuse of power by the administration, in forms of subsidy abuse. The director sued the Minister, claiming defamation.

Minister asked the judge to suspend the lawsuit because in order to present the evidence that Minasyan knowingly defrauded the state, Ministry would have to get the papers from the prosecutors showing all the data. The prosecutors couldn't give the data to the Ministry at the time, because the investigation isn't over yet, so the papers can't be made public yet.

Ministry then asked the judge to request a closed door court hearing so the prosecutors could give the secret data. The judge has refused that too. The Minister's lawyer says the judge is not impartial.

The defense (Ministry) will submit a challenge to the judge.


A bank in Litva "leaked" documents showing how Armenian billionaire Ruben Vardanyan's bank was used by Russian and other oligarchs to launder money, some of which was done through falsifying unsuspecting people's credentials. The transactions involved big names such as Sergey Magnitsky.


The police is looking for this man who offered a large bribe to purchase a medical diploma in Medical University.


Former HHK mayor Taron Margaryan's foundation is bleeding donations and donors. The numbers have significantly reduced last year, especially after his resignation.

The report published by the foundation mentions millions in donations to various programs, but won't clarify who exactly received the funds.

Records show that Yerevan municipality donated 63mln to mayor Margaryan's foundation. The donation practice by the city wasn't new and had been ongoing since the foundation's formation on 2011, when Margaryan wasn't the mayor yet. All together, Yerevan donated 275mln to his charity foundation.

On 2018, Avan district, led by his relative, donated 11.6mln. Another 55.3mln was donated by independent donors. 32.6mln was spent on charities including veterans and social programs, according to the foundation.

During the 2018 revolution, foundation's employees formed groups to physically prevent pro-Pashinyan protesters from Avan from joining the rest of the protests in the Center district. Later, some of them organized meetings to support Margaryan when people begun demanding his resignation.


A confrontation took place between the former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan's (under investigation) activist group led by his assistant Narek Malyan, and a group of student activists from 'Restart'.

As a result, the students decided to dump Malyan in a garbage bin. The incident was recorded on video. The police officers at scene prevented the students' actions.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/155897 --- video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCP3JBGb5-4


The police detained, questioned and later released 6 student activists, and invited 1 more for questioning. The authorities will press hooliganism charges.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/155905 - - - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/155889


The student activists have accused Malyan of months-long provocations and defamation towards them and their families. They are willing to take responsibility for their actions.



Pashinyan has condemned the use of physical force. Says the idea is against democracy and the nation.


Critics of the Restart student activist group (which actively participated against Serj regime) have long criticized the group and wanted to know who their donors are, pointing fingers to George Soros' foundation. One of such Restart critics was Yerevan State University's administration, against whom the Restart held protests in past.

As it turns out ironically, George Soros has donated 325mln to the University itself.


The police has found the burglars who broke into Manvel Grigoryan's son's house weeks earlier. 3 of them are arrested, 1 is on the run. The stolen items have been mostly recovered.


Pashinyan is in Belgium. Met universities, discussed cooperation in high-tech area. Rectors have been invited to visit Armenia to participate World Tech Congress, which will be held in Armenia this year.



Memorandum was signed between Armenian ministries, high-tech companies and their Belgian counterparts.


Health Ministry has proposed to de-criminalize the use of substances classified as narcotics and psychedelics, for research purposes only. The practice was banned on 2010. The Ministry believes decriminalization can help the scientific community.


The final contracts to build a $250mln thermal electric plant in Yerevan have been signed. The construction will begin this month, and will last 2 years, employe 1,100 people, 230 permanently.

When finished, it'll produce electricity that's cheaper than other similar plants, providing 8bln annual savings to the state.


Armenian judoist Styopa Darbinyan defeats his Azeri opponent to win Bronze in European championship held in Turkey.


Greco-Roman European and world champion wrestler Maxim Manukyan wins Gold in the international competition held in Bulgaria.


Men earn 35% more than women in Armenia. Russia 30%, Netherlands 40%, Pakistan 62%. Panama/Honduras 0%, Romania/Bulgaria/Philippines 2%. In Thailand and Sierra Leone women earn up to 5% more.


Iranian FM has responded to Azeri hysteria, which was caused by Pashinyan's latest trip to Iranian-Armenian community, during which Artsakh Republic flag was waved and a slogan said "Artsakh is Armenia, the end".

Ministry basically said that Iran wants Azerbaijan and Armenia to keep their conflict away, Armenians shouldn't use slogans like that which can cause disturbances in Iran, and that it doesn't have any effect on Iran's relations with either nation.


Iranian police has arrested 29 bizimdir activists for hooliganism, after they chanted anti-Armenian slogans and burned the Armenian flag during a soccer match.


Iranian media outlet has exposed a state-sponsored Azeri propaganda around Khojali events. An Azeri museum in Iran featured a photo of an Armenian woman kneeling in a Syrian desert during the 1915 Armenian genocide, and attempted to present it as a Khojali event. The media outlet also mentions about Azeri authorities exaggerating the death count in Khojali to fit a state-sponsored propaganda.

(The Armenian woman's photo was taken from the US Library of Congress.)


There are 5300 Iranian businesses in Armenia. They are 36% of all foreign businesses. Trade between two nations grew 40% on 2018, and it's in the top 5 list of trade partners. 3rd electricity delivering grid is being built to deliver Armenian electricity to northern Iran.

160,000 Iranian tourists visited Armenia last year.


Iran is in the process of signing a trade cooperation deal with EAEU. Once Armenia and Kyrgyzstan sign it, the trade between Iran and Armenia can increase, says a Minister.

At the moment, there are high tariffs for products entering Iran. Those will be reduced for EAEU members, including Armenia. This will affect over 300 various products.


Azerbaijani authorities arrested an Azeri man with a Russian citizenship for filming a village where his Armenian friend's mother used to live before Karabakh war. The woman wanted to see how the village looked like today, and asked his son's friend to take a video. The man was accused of "filming for Armenians". The police removed the footage from his camera and later released him from detention.


Sumgait massacres events timeline.


Austrian government has banned the hand gesture displayed by the Turkish terrorist movement Grey Wolves. The organization has a lengthy record of organizing political assassinations and other terrorist attacks, including against Pope of Vatican. The violators will be fined 4,000 Euros or see 1 month of jail time for the first offense, and E10,000 for subsequent violations.

The goal is to limit the spread of terrorism in Austria. Turkish government has condemned the law.


Armenian humanitarian staff in Syria has begun de-mining part of a 30 sq/km land in Northern Syria. The team consisted of 83 people will spend several months in the country.


Brazilian carnival had a dedicated segment featuring the Armenian history and culture.

Photo video: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/155907


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/axfauw/anticorruption_march42019_municipality_lawsuits/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports