2019 May 24

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - May/24/2019: Supreme Council judge quits.... Judge accused of plagiarism... Former judge weighs-in on Kocharyan verdict... NSS chief says the former administration told NSS to close eye on certain things... transitional justice... Swapped DNA... Italty & Arm Genocide.. 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.

Gagik Harutyunyan, The Supreme Judicial Council chief (presented as Supreme Court Council in past posts) has submitted his resignation. He has been accused of being "Serj's man" in past. Yesterday. a group of protesters gathered on front of the building and demanded the Council's resignation.



His brother Arzuman Harutyunyan was fired from the the NSS deputy director's position at the request of PM Nikol Pashinyan.



QP MP Alen Simonyan says he'd rather see Constitutional Court president Hrayr Tovmasyan to resign, because he is a political individual who used to be a member of HHK and only quit it because the law required him to do so. He is also the author of the recent Constitutional changes which the public didn't accept well, said Simonyan.


Alexander Azaryan, the Cassations judge who twice freed Kocharyan, who has been accused of illegal verdict and bias in March 1st verdicts in past, is denying the reports that he plagiarized his dissertation papers.

In October of 2018, an Education Ministry committee tasked with examining such dissertations, revealed that 25 pages in his dissertation were copied from another judge. Judge Azaryan denies, says there is no indication the other judge didn't copy him, and they both had the same tutor and wrote about the same subject, so it's not uncommon to see similarity.

The Ministry committee said the copying was "identical". The Ministry committee will soon hold a session to discuss this.


A former judge also believes the Constitutional Court doesn't have the right to accept Kocharyan case. This is his reasoning:

When a politician with an immunity is going through a trial, for example a Parliament MP, the court or prosecutors can end the case altogether and ask the Parliament to strip the MP from immunity first.

When a judge is tried, his trial can end, a letter can be sent to judicial board to strip the judge from immunity.

But in the case of a president, there is no such body that can strip him from the immunity, so the immunity has to be stripped (or decide to preserve) by the court which is examining the case. In other words, the Cassations did not have the right to end the case altogether unless they also made a verdict that Kocharyan had immunity. In this case, they were unsure about his immunity, so they sent it to Constitutional. They didn't have the right to send it to the Constitutional court for clarification while keeping Kocharyan free due to the case being closed, thinks the former judge. (this opinion was raised by another lawyer yesterday)

The former judge supports the proposed vetting system.


NSS chief Vanetsyan, who has been an NSS employee for a while and was appointed as chief under Pashinyan, quietly դրօպս a բամբշելլ.

He said Serj's brother Sashik had $30 million on his bank account when it was frozen last year. "Did anyone ask where he got that money from?". Journalist asked him why he didn't act in past, when he was a rank-and-file NSS employee. Vanetsyan said the political administration prohibited the NSS agents from acting. There is currently an internal investigation over this, says Vanetsyan.

He also told FIP journalist Ionissyan not to spread "misinformation" about him. Ionissyan earlier said Vanetsyan is friends with a few gang members and "criminal authorities". Vanetsyan says he only knows these people from the time he served with them in the forces, but they aren't his friends.

Ionissyan also spread a conspiracy theory alleging that Vanetsyan was the one who leaked his scandalous phone call with SIS chief. According to Ionissyan, Vanetsyan leaked it to show the Russians that he is "their man". In the call, Vanetsyan can be heard expressing concerns about arresting Yuri Khachaturov and angering Russians, which is what Ionissyan uses as the main basis for his dumb conspiracy theory.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162237 --- https://factor.am/154014.html --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSaV1MY4AfY

Pashinyan administration created a draft bill about the transitional justice system and asset forfeiture, and sent it to an international organization for an examination.


The Parliament is discussing transitional justice reforms and judicial vetting. 250 people are registered to speak and raise opinions.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162218 --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63nA3RN9B8E

Human rights Ombudsman office releases a video educating the public on which instances their assets can be frozen (under the current rules) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJc3OxoiKdM

The authorities are now using better DNA machines to identify people who went missing during the Artsakh war. They have a shiny new computer that sequences stuff for the fraction of the time, and does more types of analysis. They'll soon use it to catch Interpol criminals. DNA analysis, at some capacity, has existed in Armenia for 19 years.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/976052.html --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHUavi_qFU0

Former Opera house chief and famous conductor Constantine Orbelyan is legally challenging the decision by Pashinyan and Culture Ministry to fire him from the director's position. It was earlier found that the ministry made violations while appointing him as the Opera chief few years ago. Insufficient time for management was also a reason.

Orbelyan says the new chief doesn't have the legal right to be the director.


Pashinyan earlier announced plans to clean up the country's garbage centers and pay more attention to sorting and recycling.

Today, works have begun by a government committee, American University, and a Swedish specialized company. They will examine landfills to measure how much and what types of garbage there is, and their value.


The military denies rumors that Pashinyan's son was transferred to serve in Yerevan. Sometimes temporary military events happen in which groups of soldiers are moved around the country, said the military.


Yerevan municipality continues the work to examine past decisions which allowed private entities to settle in kindergarten buildings. People have long complained that as a result of this, there is less space for kids' care. In the past several months, 40% of such kindergarten building areas have been freed. This will allow more classes to open, says municipality.


Foreign Minister has criticized CSTO ally Belarus for supplying rockets to Azerbaijan


Gyumri's first smart bus stop is almost ready. 80 will be installed until 2021 with the help of a Armenian Russian businessman. The city also conducts examinations for a better bus route system. https://factor.am/154044.html

A few years back there was an attack on HSBC bank in Yerevan. A deranged police officer killed 2 people and ran away with cash before being tackled.

This lawsuit has begun. Former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan's chief bodyguard is accused of illegally swapping the suspect's DNA test with something else, in order to frame him as a drug user (a personal conflict with him), says a local police department.


Azerbaijan's Mkhitaryan travel fuckup has reached biblical proportions not seen since Noah's crash-landing on mount Agri Dagi. The British Parliament is now discussing it. An MP said that Miki and the Arsenal fans with Armenian names, cannot travel to the final match, calling it a scandal. "The ugly side of the beautiful game". He believes UEFA should not allow countries with such issues to host games.

An official said they will ask UEFA to make sure the games are hosted in places where people will have the ability to visit. Said the foreign ministry will examine the cases in which ethnic Armenian fans were unable to go there.

Video https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162222


Former Arsenal coach Arisen Wenger has also called the situation around Mkhitaryan as unacceptable. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/976069.html


British Prime Minister Theresa Mey has resigned due to Mkhitaryan scandal. This is a fake news. https://youtu.be/_UI9XcQ0jFc

Someone launched #BoycottBaku on Change.Org, the most useful website if you want to make a point without making any difference.


Italian MP from the ruling 5 Star party, who is also the European Parliament vice-president, says they'll raise the Armenian Genocide discussion in the European Parliament. He blamed the former Italian ruling party of favoring cozy relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, over justice.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/976117.html --- https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/124812/FABIO+MASSIMO_CASTALDO/home

Grazio Fabio. Really cool!

French Toulouse University has a gift for Armenia: a super-computer that will allow quick processing of large quantities of data.


Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bsngw6/anticorruption_news_may242019_supreme_council/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports