2019 May 13

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - May/13/2019: Clashes during Kocharyan trial.... Facebook-er who got arrested by NSS; account inciting knife attacks..... ECHR lawsuits against Azerbaijan.... Municipality audited by prosecutors.... Elevator repair program.... Healthcare & Education changes.... 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.

The court is hearing whether Robert Kocaryan's pre-trial detention is still warranted. It's up to "renewal" every 2 months.

Rob's activist allies and family members were present. Anti-Rob activist Vardges Gaspari was also there. He held a sign accusing Rob of being connected with October 27, 1999 and March 1st, 2008 murders. Rob's allies didn't like Gaspari's chants calling Rob a murderer (Ռոբիկ սրիկա, Ռոբիկ մարդասպան), so they assaulted him then took away the sign.

The police eventually removed the crowd outside of the court building. 5 people were detained by the police.


http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161215 --- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161211 ---- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161220 --- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161245


Post-confrontation interview with Gaspari https://youtu.be/nWzsq1Ddo5A?t=171


Rob's supporters were also actively preventing the lawyer Safaryan, representing some of the March 1st victims, from entering the court building.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161225 ---- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161246


One of the detained was Armen Tavadyan, the owner of Roboserj media outlet 5th Channel, the network that spread the infamous March 1st "documentary" piece whose creators duped the families of the victims into participating, and distorted the facts of the events.

The owner of the network happens to be the քավոր during QP MP Alen Simonyan's wedding. Simonyan denies the rumors that he is actively trying to get him out of detention. Says they don't have relations now, and haven't spoken with each other for a year.



Rob was also present during the trial. Privet! https://youtu.be/yL6jTDq34E0?t=39


The first day of trial is over. Rob's defense team has asked the judge to recuse himself because the prosecutor was presumably in the same room with the judge before the session begun. It's to avoid any conflict of interest or bias, says the defense. The prosecutors will respond to the claim tomorrow.

The defense also says the presiding judge has been disciplined by the panel of judges in past, for giving an invalid excuse for not wanting to hear the trial in past, so he has to recuse himself.

Defense also wants Supreme Court judges to be questioned whether they were pressured by Rob during 2008 court hearing regarding accepting/rejecting Serj's election victory.

BHK and LHK say they don't have intentions to form an alliance with Kocharyan.


LHK chief Edmon Marukyan has criticized Pashinyan for appointing someone with a history of burning and stepping on a Russian flag, as a governor of a province. LHK's position on Russia has gotten milder recently. They did not campaign for Armenia to exit the EAEU trade bloc during the November election campaign.



QP says the man (future governor) tried to burn the flag as a sign of protest due to the Russian-Armenian authorities' handling of the events after a deranged Russian soldier killed an entire family in Gyumri 4 years ago.

QP has criticized LHK for using this as a political point to harm relations with Russia, saying that most of the Armenian public at the time was dissatisfied by the way the situation was handled, and there were many protests against Russia.


"Duxov Hayastan" Facebook account owner was recently arrested by NSS for allegedly inciting violence and hatred.

Informed Citizens organization says they've uncovered the owner behind the account. He is linked to HHK and has photos with them. FIP says he used the pseudonym account to direct two politically opposing crowds towards a physical confrontation, then used his non-pseudonym personal Facebook page to accuse the government of doing so. (pics in article)

The account was mostly used to incite hatred towards Pashinyan, Speaker Mirzoyan, QP Alen Simonyan and Informed Citizen's chief Daniel Ionissyan.

Some of the posts claimed the Iranian army shot Armenians at the border, Russian soldier killed a baby. In one instance, the account used QP Alen Simonyan's personal phone number to advertise drug sales.

It turns out, the NSS filed its criminal case last year but he wasn't arrested until this April.

FIP says the the owner is Armen Ab, a dual citizen residing in Yerevan. His last Facebook post on the account was on April 5th, when he was arrested.

His personal account shows close ties to HHK and MP Shushan Petrosyan. Has photos with Roboserj Iravunk paper and a Reformists Party member. The latter participated in anti-Pashinyan flash-mob last year.

On February, he changed the pseudonym account name to "Duxov Hayastan Open Society".

https://fip.am/6737 ---- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161205


Before the 2018 elections, the owner used the account (at the time not titled Open Society) presented as something managed by the Pashinyan team, to claim the government openly supports LGBT. This was done to defame Pashinyan.

On August 16, the account made posts instructing Pashinyan supporters to bring weapons to the protests, and urged them to use it against HHK supporters, claiming they won't be arrested for crime. The account also threatened to commit another October 27th. (Screenshots inside)


Update: Yesterday we learned the Parliament building ramped up the security. LHK complained that they were being unfairly targeted. QP members say their bags are also being checked, and denied LHK Marukyan's claim that the opposition is being targeted with harsher checks. The head of security committee said they'll review the personal bag checking policy, but "the opposition isn't being targeted".

BHK MP says they've also been checked more thoroughly but they don't see a political motive behind it.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161203 --- https://youtu.be/76KehK2bqvI?t=136

The European Court for Human Rights has accepted 22 lawsuits brought by Armenian citizens against the state of Azerbaijan for mutilating bodies and committing other human rights violations during the April 2016 battles. Hundreds of other property damage lawsuits were filed. There is no verdict yet, this is just the court giving a green light so the lawsuits can begin.


Health Minister Torosyan says the anti-vaccination propaganda could be eventually banned because vaccination rates have gone below 90%. The safe zone is when 95% are vaccinated. He says other developed countries ban anti-vacc propaganda. (👎)

120 women die every year from cancer that can could have been prevented by the vaccines that are actively being discouraged by opponents, says the Minister. (Vaccination topic was recently weaponized for political reasons. False information was spread that the government was forcing schoolkids to vaccinate with a permission.)

Ambulance budget will rise by 25% (1bln) next year. They'll hire more staff and raise salaries. Staff has long complained that they are over-worked.

70% of emergency calls don't end up with hospitalizations; many calls aren't an emergency. Ministry will soon launch a pilot program in Nor Norq to identify the difference between emergency and urgent care, and use other non-emergency methods of helping the caller to save sources.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161202 -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/974527.html --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/974559.html

To replace all 3,600 elevators in private Yerevan apartment complex buildings, the city needs 30bln. That's the size of its entire annual expenditure, so the municipality wants the government to grant an aid.

The municipality says there is a discrepancy in how much money apartment complex building unions currently collect for elevator repairs from the residents. Some households pay 1.6k, while others pay 4k, even though the elevators are the same and costs the same to repair.

The monthly fee could go up by ~30% and become 2k in average (an increase of $1), so the municipality will have enough funds. For now, the city will use its resources to repair and replace the elevators that require an urgent attention.

70% of the elevators haven't been replaced in 40 years, while the expiration date is 25 years.

Between 2012-2018, six people died and five were injured from elevator related accidents.


Yerevan municipality's Luys party earlier accused the mayor of illegally giving Russian Kamaz a favorable treatment during garbage truck purchases auction. The city denied violations, saying only Kamaz trucks had the engines powerful enough to do the job, so they got all 9-24 units from them.

Prosecutors have examined the accusations and found no evidence of a wrongdoing.


Special Investigations Service will not press felony charges against the BHK MP who was recently accused of getting drunk and causing a physical confrontation with a deputy governor. They didn't find enough evidence of a crime.


Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has published a calculator that allows families to enter their income and find out if they qualify for aid.


The road leading to Sochut Dendropark tourist attraction area will be finally repaired after decades of negligence. Many tourism companies have been refusing to take their clients there due to the cars breaking down on the road.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/161228 -- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/137757

2019Q1 vs 2018Q1, the number of tourists grew by 5 %.


March-2019 vs March-2018 the number of real estate sales rose by 7%. Number of rentals/lease is up by 32%. Apartment price up by 10%. Numbers are the average for the whole country.

In Yerevan, there is a 55% rise in the number of house purchases involving mortgage loans. 17% rise in the price of land sold in Yerevan Center.

Numbers were down only in Stepanavan and Spitak. Everywhere else it was either up or remained the same.


Education Ministry is hiring specialists to create a new program, funded by EU, USA and UN, which will revamp the way STEM subjects are taught in schools, change the curriculum, and the grading system for 1-12 classes.


Pashinyan gave an interview to Russian RBK media, during which he said he hasn't felt pressured by Putin, but some media organizations in Russia have opinion pieces negative of him.

Russian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYVSAhLsFa0

Armenian TLDR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg0zG5QN_pg


The Mexican state of Michoacán becomes the first government institution to recognized and condemn the Armenian Genocide.


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.

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bo99o1/anticorruption_news_may132019_clashes_during/

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2019 Daily Armenia Reports