2019 May 23

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - May/23/2019: Army salaries to raise by 20%; other benefits.... Prosecutors challenge the judges... Cassations judge writes a strange post about Pashinyan... China relations improve; millions in investments; visa reforms.... Soccer stadiums.... ECHR vs Armenian court... more
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.

Kocharyan administration's case was earlier shut down by the Cassations judges and sent to Constitutional to clarify a law(s) to see if it should be applied against Kocharyan.

Now a lawyer has asked the Special Investigative Service to investigate the judge who issued the verdict, saying it was obviously illegal and had a criminal nature.

The lawyer says the Code 31 states the Cassations judge did not have the right to shut down the case unless it also made a verdict that the questionable law was unconstitutional. In other words, in this case, the Cassations should have kept the case active, then asked the Constitutional Court to clarify the law, then continued the case in Cassations after it was clarified for them.

He also accused the judge of violating other rules and failing to recuse himself due to a conflict. The lawyer sent a complaint to the investigators.


Prosecutors submitted their complaints, calling the Cassations verdict illegal. It's a lengthy and technical document. No TLDR for you.


One of the Cassations judges who ended Kocharyan's case is Alexander Azaryan. He was appointed under Kocharyan regime, has a record of placing dozens of anti-Kocharyan protesters in jail after March 1st, had already freed Kocharyan once in the August 18th of 2018. Yet was allowed to hear his case again on May 20. (One judge handled the court hearings, 3-4 other judges including Azaryan made a decision in the backroom.)

Judge Azaryan wrote an interesting post on Facebook: "I had a dream in which the Prime Minister instructed National Security Service to take me and my family under a total control. If they don't achieve that, they'll cause provocations, especially against my son. In my dream, I warned them that it'll have dire consequences. I also saw in my dream that some judges were having their apartments searched."


Pashinyan: let's do vetting with the help of EU

Judge nibbas: my ⏱ has come

The Constitutional Court says they are discussing whether to accept the Kocharyan case. It was submitted to them by Cassations court several hours after the Cassations made their verdict.

Constitutional has 20 days to accept or reject it. If they accept, they have 6 months to make a verdict.


Prosecutors have filed two complaints to Cassations court for releasing Kocharyan, and for sending the case to Constitutional in this manner. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162169


One of the lawyers representing March 1st victims has also filed a complaint. The Cassations court says it will need to get the case documents from other courts because they've already sent Kocharyan's files to Constitutional. The layer called it an unfair trial.


A group of protesters gathered outside of the Constitutional Court and demanded the Supreme Council chief Gagik Harutyunyan to resign. They accused the court of always being against the public . "Say no to Serj's courts". They want to shut down the building until the council resigns.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162142 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162152

European Court for Human Rights has ruled against the Armenian Higher and Cassation Courts regarding a case that happened in 2007-2009. A soldier was murdered by another soldier. Victim's family sued the Defense Ministry for moral damages too, but was denied because the courts ruled that the murderer acted as an individual and not a soldier. ECHR has ruled that the Armenian courts were wrong, and that the Defense Ministry can be held liable.

The government has 3 months to pay 8mln to the family.


"Get Serious!" was ARF's anti-Pashinyan rally theme held on the Freedom Square today. Several HHK members, Roboserj activist groups, and lawyers were also present. There were a few hundred participants. They accused the Pashinyan administration of causing a divide in the country, not keeping the promises about the economy, and not getting rid of corruption (ok).

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/162181 --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/162185 --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/162184 --- Shushan Petrosyan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9z8_AWl79I ---- "Թշնամիներ մի փնտրեք մեր երկրում" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUjGlHK4dQQ

During last year's revolution days, a group of government-allied individuals in masks attacked anti-Serj protesters and damaged the nearby property. One of the suspect was Masis mayor, his brother and several others. The mayor was charged with multiple felonies.

One of the charges, which was pressed against him for allegedly not listening to police orders to disperse, has been dropped. He is still facing hooliganism charges.


Pashinyan was earlier in China, met their president. They agreed to make the travel easier.

A government session was held today. They approved a measure to remove visa requirement for the Chinese tourists for 3 months.

Pashinyan said the Chinese leadership assured him that their market is open for Armenian products. He instructed the ministers to make sure the factories (especially alcohol) that have a potential to export to China are meeting the required standards.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162122 --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/975867.html


The government has approved the plans to help a Chinese company to invest $5mln in Stepanavan to create a water bottling company with 50 jobs.



This Chinese tourist really liked the Armenian brandy. She is taking 2.4mln worth brandy with her. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/162177


The government approved the measure to raise soldier salaries by 10%, and by 18% for lower ranking soldiers. Those who serve in tough areas will be granted additional raise.

When military pensions are calculated, time served in a direct line of contact with enemy will count as twice the seniority. This will apply for prior pensions dating back to 2016-January-1 as well.

Defense Minister thanked the government, Pashinyan thanked the army.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162135 -- https://factor.am/153446.html


Gov gave tax waivers to Park Group company so it can invest 7.5bln to create a new family friendly park with European style carousels in Yerevan. 355 jobs with avg 200k salary are expected.



Jermuk Group will receive imports tax waiver to invest 363mln to expand mineral/water business with 13 new jobs with 350k salary. 756mln annual production, almost all to be exported to EAEU.



The government asked Hay Football Federation chief Arthur Vanetsyan to brief the stadium construction plans. Vanetsyan says they are working on a new project for a new stadium. A Chinese company is interested in building one. It could be near a major highway to improve accessibility. It will have a garden twice the size of the stadium, and a place were people can hang out outside.

The current stadiums no longer meet the UEFA standards so Armenia could lose its license in case of inaction.

As for Hrazdan stadium in Yerevan, it cannot be brought to international standards because it's built in a way that there is no room for a quick 20 minute evacuation in the case of an emergency, as mandated by UEFA. He is in talks with the current owner to use it for local Armenian matches.

https://factor.am/153511.html.--- https://hetq.am/hy/article/103959


The government has a plan to create a fund that will be used to allow citizens to hire private lawyers who can't afford one. Currently, state-issued lawyers represent low income people. Because of not enough such lawyers, they are over burdened with multiple cases. The new proposal will let private lawyers, who agreed for a reduce a compensation by the government, to take the cases.


The embattled Yerevan State University chief has resigned. He accused the Education Ministry of creating tensions that eventually damaged the university's reputation.

Earlier, the investigation revealed large scale financial abuse and bribery by the university administration. After the discovery, calls were issued for the university chief to resign. He is not facing felony charges at the moment. That case is still open.


SOC chief made a statement saying they found licensing contract violations done by the police. The police ordered license plates from a company in a process that SOC believes was anti-competitive. The alleged violations took place for a while and also happened recently.

Police chief Osipyan disagreed, saying it was a rushed announcement by the oversight agency because the investigation hasn't ended yet.

SOC says they will submit the findings to the Special Investigations Service for further action.


Stepanavan. N3 school director stole state funds in 2015-2017 by taking the salary of a teacher who never went to work. She admitted the guilt and returned the funds. The criminal charges are dropped.


California Senate has unanimously passes a bi-partisan California-Armenia Trade Office Bill that will formalize trade and economic ties between California and Armenia. ANCA is thankful.


A group of 16 Swiss journalists visited Armenia. They will split into groups and visit various areas. It's done to help boost interest and tourism to Armenia


Popular Russian rapper Timati has released a music clip filmed in various parts of Armenia. It also features popular Armenian TV personalities.


Azeri media calls Mkhitaryan a coward for not visiting the country. Says Arsenal should have never hired him because he supported the "separatists" (Karabakh).



"Baku hosts Europa League Final as government crackdown continues"



"Amnesty: stop Azerbaijan from sportswashing ‘appalling human rights record’"

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soccer/amnesty-stop-azerbaijan-from-sportswashing-appalling-human-rights-record-1.3900568 --- https://factor.am/153552.html


Irish justice minister has accused UEFA of inaction that led to Mkhitaryan being unable to participate in Baku game.



Chelsea and Arsenal were given 12,000 fan tickets combined, but they only managed to sell 5,500.

The problem is there is no direct flight to Baku, fans have to waste time on the flight, airplane ticket's are too expensive, hostels are too expensive (some reports say it jumped from $30 to $500), the Heydar Aliyev airport is small and cannot accommodate many fans simultaneously.

As of last week, 35,000 tickets were sold (mostly to locals) according to Azerbaijan authorities.

Partial source http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/269137


CNN opinion writer has called for Arsenal and Chelsea to boycott the match in Baku


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bs805n/anticorruption_news_may232019_army_salaries_to/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports














2019 Daily Armenia Reports