2020 August 4

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Aug/4/2020 news: / Kocharyan trial. Frozen assets. Civil lawsuit. / Another fugitive escapes justice with Russian citizenship / Amulsar gold mine protests. Lydian removes tents / Two ex-mayors charged with corruption / Lung ventilator production / Azeri hackers / Mashtots Garden & Trees / Metro!
by ar_david_hh


Tavush Battles / How did it start and end?

Context: July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15.... July 16…. July 17…. July 18…. July 19…. July 20…. July 21... July 22…. July 23…. July 24.... July 25... July 27... July 28... July 29... July 30... July 31... August 2... August 3...

Robik Kocharyan and co-defendants' trial / Frozen assets / Civil lawsuit incoming

The court will decide whether to lift the arrest on "March 1st" defendants' assets.

Victims' lawyer asked the judge to keep the assets frozen because they plan to sue Robik in civil court. They need the assets frozen and ready to be used as compensation.

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The judge asked Robik to clarify how much his assets are worth. Robik refused, saying the court cannot require the defense to make such assessments.

The judge decided not to lift the arrest for now.

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Co-defendant militaryman Yuri Khachaturov complained about not receiving certain documents in the Russian language (he can't read Armenian). He asked the judge to recuse herself for "discriminatory behavior".

Prosecutor presented counter-arguments, including from ECHR, noting that Yuri has qualified translators during the trials.

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Robik then asked the judge to re-classify 102 March 1st victims as "witnesses".

The prosecutors said now is not the right time to discuss it, and the topic needs to be postponed for later stages.

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https://factor.am/273953.html , https://factor.am/273979.html , https://factor.am/273998.html , https://factor.am/274003.html , https://factor.am/274019.html , https://factor.am/274069.html , https://factor.am/274074.html , https://factor.am/274103.html , https://factor.am/274106.html , http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283689/

Russia gave citizenship to fugitive Armenian ex-official

Ex-HHK MP and soccer federation oligarch Nemets Rubo (Ruben Hayrapetyan), who is wanted for kidnapping/torture and financial crimes, becomes the latest high profile fugitive to be mysteriously revealed as a Russian citizen, at a time when Armenian authorities need to make an arrest.

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Armenian prosecutors had earlier asked Russian colleagues to arrest and deport Rubo. No news was available until last week when it was revealed that Russia dropped the internal warrant against Rubo's arrest.

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Today it was revealed that Rubo allegedly held a Russian passport since 2003.

Being a Russian citizen and living in Russia prevents the Russian authorities from deporting him to Armenia.

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Earlier the ex-Defense Minister and March 1st suspect Vahagn Harutyunyan was also revealed as a Russian citizen. He is also hiding in Russia.

https://factor.am/274041.html

ex-Abovyan mayor charged with abuse of power

The report says: Kotayk Governor contacted prosecutors to report Abovyan's ex-mayor with illegally giving away part of the city's park in 2010.

The local Cadastre Department colluded to illegally register the lands as private property.

A felony case is launched. https://factor.am/274060.html

ex-Lanjik mayor is charged with embezzlement and forgery

The report says: between 2013-2017, Lanjik mayor stole $8,700 by forging social welfare documents.

https://factor.am/274168.html

the third one is ready

President Sarkissian has nominated Arthur Vagharshyan for the 3rd and final empty seat at Constitutional Court. The Govt and Supreme Court had earlier nominated their candidates.

The three judicial nominees will be approved or rejected by Parliament soon.

https://factor.am/273971.html

Amulsar protests / Lydian miner removes activists' tents / Police intervenes

Context: environmental activists shut down the Amulsar gold mine since 2018. Lydian miner hasn't been able to use its pre-2018 license to dig gold. The Pashinyan administration hired foreign firms to audit, and they found that the mine won't pollute lake Sevan or underground waters, but it needs to make >dozen safety modifications.

Lydian hasn't been able to comply because environmentalists keep the roads closed. The court ordered activists to open the roads, but they refused. So far the government hasn't enforced the order to disperse the activists.

Lydian recently hired more aggressive armed guards to "defend its territory and property".

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At 3 am, Lydian guards used cranes to remove the activists' tents from the mine. They were replaced with Lydian's trailers and shielded with a fence.

Activists complained that some of the removed tents weren't actually on Lydian's lands.

The local police department said they aren't aware of details and cannot prevent Lydian from clearing its property from tents.

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"After 2 years of illegal suspension, our working rights are slowly recovering," said Lydian employees, "We want to get back to work."

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In the morning the activists formed a car caravan to travel to Amulsar to defend their cause.

"Since it got quiet recently, we chose not to stay in Amulsar. Lydian took advantage of our absence and removed the tents," said one activist, "Today is the day. We must force the government to make a final decision about this, otherwise, it'll end with bloodshed. Either we will kill Lydian's guards or they'll kill us."

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Clashes took place between protesters and Lydian guards. A large police force was deployed. They detained several activists and Lydian guards after the activists broke the barrier and ran into the mine's territory.

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Cars were traveling through the road. When they were blocked, the police told the crowd to move further towards the curb. Some activists were pushed.

Human Rights Ombudsman is monitoring the situation.

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Activists want their tents to be moved 30 meters inwards, but not re-installed, to avoid further escalation. "We're willing to talk to Lydian."

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Tents removed: https://youtu.be/nencsr80g7c

Lydian guard: https://youtu.be/oFuH4xtIeLo

Activists gather: https://youtu.be/EWYu1VrDqoQ

Collection: https://youtu.be/GLnrwv3aP1c

Clashes: https://youtu.be/WzxdSvgeuPs

HRO: https://factor.am/274148.html

https://youtu.be/XLXNdrA2fzk

COVID stats

168,164 tested. 7,930 active. +196 infected. +511 healed. +6 deaths.

https://factor.am/273914.html

Armenian firm will produce lung ventilators

NASA JPL gave a license to the Armenian "YEA Engineering" firm to produce VITAL lung vents. "Only 28 firms around the world have this license," bragged High Tech Minister Arshakyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023952.html

Huge explosion in Beyrut, Lebanon

Explosives or fireworks were apparently confiscated from a ship a while ago and stored in a Beyrut port. They blew up, leveling most of the port and shattering windows across the capital.

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Others speculated it might be elated to the prosecution of 4 Iran-linked Hezbollah militants who are set to appear in a UN court in the case of a murder of ex-Prime Minister Hariri.

The preliminary exams didn't indicate terrorism. The port also happens to have oil reserves.

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Israel said they had nothing to do with it.

Pashinyan: We express our support to the brotherly people of Lebanon

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10 people died. One Armenian citizen died and several were wounded. It affected the Armenian district buildings. The embassy was damaged.

Among the dead was Lebanese Kataeb party's secretary-general Nazar Najarian.

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Redditor Garen felt the explosion despite not being in Beirut: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i3nt7j/the_armenian_neighborhood_in_lebanon_was_recently/g0ctbvb/

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Aram A Catholics traveled through the affected Armenian community: https://youtu.be/ps-fFMM7wtQ?t=379

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Explosion: https://youtu.be/TO8-6I40gxI?t=1

Explosion: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=336032940761185

https://apnews.com/d6503f7d779f2790218fe29121368788

https://factor.am/274185.html , https://factor.am/274202.html , https://factor.am/274212.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024033.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024040.html , https://en.armradio.am/2020/08/04/lebanese-kataeb-party-leader-nizar-najarian-killed-in-beirut-blast/

Azeri hackers leak

Security expert Martirosyan: Azeri hackers claim to have access to 55TB government data. Armenia needs to take cyber-security more seriously.

Personal info of several Zvartnots airport workers were published. Some death certificates were leaked.

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PM's spokeswoman: the NSS hasn't found evidence that 55TB data was stolen. They are examining the screenshot showing the govt server's internal system panel. NSS is still examining.

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Security expert Martirosyan: This hack wasn't new. It's most likely 1-2 years old but they're publishing it now.

The leaked screenshot shows data that was removed when several Ministries were merged, so the leak must have happened before 2H19 when the Ministries were merged.

https://factor.am/273962.html , https://factor.am/274086.html , https://factor.am/274159.html , https://youtu.be/fBCsSGR_A-g , https://factor.am/274182.html

Oil slump causes Azerbaijan to re-calculate the budget

Mini-Majlis will hold a session to amend the budget to calculate it based on a $35 oil price, instead of the current $55. The deficit is currently $2.8 billion.

The Defense budget might be slashed by 1.3% or $30M.

https://factor.am/274189.html , http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283681/

Mashtots Garden / Yerevan fines construction company / Land ownership suspended

Yesterday we learned how a company had a 50-year license to work in Mashtots Garden. They harmed several large trees' roots last year during construction.

The city, citing the trees' poor health, decided to let them cut the trees, in exchange for planting 9 new ones as compensation.

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Mayor Marutyan held a meeting today. "Our every move has been about fighting illegal construction and defending green zones. Today we have a new case, and we must resolve it legally. If it was all up to me it would be done long ago."

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Marutyan said: we fought against ex-mayor Margaryan's plans to install kiosks, thus saving the Mashtots Garden. But one of these kiosks had 300 m2 land registered as its property (not a lease). We can't legally touch it. It's private property. We had the same issue near Opera.

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On May/16/2018, ex-mayor Margaryan signed a decree to lease 1000 m2 land for 40 years, in addition to the existing 300 m3 owned by the company.

ex-Mayor Margaryan also tried to give oligarch Lfik Samo a private land in a similar fashion, but the revolution happened, I became a mayor and stopped the process at the last minute.

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Now we're doing the same with this Mashtots owner. We completely suspended the 1000m2 land lease, and also annulled the land ownership agreement for that 300 m2.

The company no longer owns the 300 m2 land, but they continue to lease it, and anything they built on it now will be a public property upon the lease expiration. Upon expiration, we'll decide what to do with those objects.

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This is the best we can do legally. The alternative is to break laws.

We gave them 4 citations for violating construction laws. Their work is suspended.

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Near Malibu and Saryan, there is a road, and in the middle of it, there is a tree. It's getting on everyone's way. Cars can hit it. Every expert and department advised me to cut it, but I refused and said it'll be cut only if it's dying.

Experts evaluated the tree and found that it's not dying yet, so we shielded the tree and put a sign on it for drivers to see it at night.

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We always fight for every tree. However, I asked experts to evaluate Yerevan's dying trees that need to be cut before they fall and kill someone. We found 437 dangerous trees.

We began cutting them after getting a second opinion from other tree-health experts.

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Yerevan is a very dusty city. We must protect the green. We're far away from being within the norm. Cars are also a culprit.

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As for properties and nearby trees in Norq Gardens being recently placed for sale, you have to talk to the federal Cadastre Committee because it's federal land.

https://factor.am/273950.html , https://factor.am/273957.html , https://factor.am/273987.html , https://factor.am/274007.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023999.html

Tags: #GreenDepartment #YerevanParks #Trees #MashtotsGardens

The govt will finance Yerevan's new metro station

Mayor Marutyan: we considered our options between private and public-funded Ajapnyak Metro station, and decided it's best to build it slower but with govt money because it'll save resources down the line.

https://factor.am/274013.html

Chemistry Olympiad

231 students participated. Armenian kids won 1 silver and 1 bronze.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023959.html

Infrastructure upgrades

A 9.1km road repairs have begun worth $2.1M. The Yerevan-Artashat section is one of them. It was repaired 30 years ago.

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Ayntap's 4 roads are on the list, worth $680K.

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Yeraskh's school is being rebuilt... as a kindergarten, with fire alarm, solar heaters, reinforced walls.

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Several settlements that were recently merged into larger municipalities have qualified for a $358K sanitation equipment gift from feds.

Video: https://youtu.be/dYOVxE01o9A

https://factor.am/273968.html

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You've read 1897 words.



Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i3qnvi/aug42020_news_kocharyan_trial_frozen_assets_civil/

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. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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