2020 September 24

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Sep/24/2020 news: \\ shipping cost plummets \\ free speech \\ police reform \\ Tsarukyan: voter bribe, gold mine, trial \\ Vedi reservoir \\ consumer prices \\ Kocharyan lawyer in trouble \\ HHK tatik drops diss-track \\ NSS agent & officials busted \\ 25th COVID aid \\ resignations \\ Azeri \\ more
by ar_david_hh


update: Tsarukyan's gold mine didn't have a license

Back in July we learned that Nature Ministry issued a $200 fine to BHK leader Tsarukyan's Mkhart gold mine for operating without an environmental audit. The Ministry sent the case to prosecutors for examination.

The report says: // Tsarukyan's Multi Group company operated the mine without a license to use water since 2011. The structures were built without a SHMAG environmental assessment, and the pollution exceeded the legal limits.

The mine underwent an audit on Feb-12-2018. This audit revealed a document that exposed the existence of these unauthorized structures (factory and mine's tailing). //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028576.html

ex-official's company fined for damaging a river

Former Investigative Committee chief HHK Aghvan Hovsepyan's family runs a hydro-plant called Astghaberd. It was licensed in April 2020.

It received a $400 penalty (second occurrence) for blocking too much river water.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/121829

Vedi Reservoir / new and expensive

85 reservoirs were built in Armenia during USSR. New ones are needed to solve the water shortage.

Vedi Reservoir is being built, since 2017, near the Ararat province's Vedi river. The $90m project is co-funded by France (75) and Armenia (15). It'll be completed by 2022.

irrigation

4,000 hectares land in 8 settlements of Ararat valley will be auto-irrigated without electricity use. Part of these lands is already irrigated with Hrazdan river water. It remains to be seen whether the $90m project is "worth it".

seismic stability

Armenia was divided into 4 seismic zones after the 1988 earthquake. On the scale of 1-4, the Vedi reservoir is in the Level-3 danger zone. The builders took this into account and will make it resistant to 9-10pt quakes. "Even during the 1988 quake no reservoirs were destroyed in Armenia," said the builder.

More: https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/09/23/Վեդիի-ջրամբարը-ոռոգման-համակարգի-հին-ու-նոր-խնդիրները/395799

Kocharyan's lawyer is in trouble for not disclosing properties / Grants from George Soros

You're supposed to disclose your income and property if your spouse is a judge. Kocharyan's top lawyer Hayk Alumyan's wife Armenuhi Badiryan is a judge.

Alumyan hasn't filed declaration paperwork for 9 years. CivilNet outlet contacted the Corruption Prevention Committee (CPC). The CPC then asked Alumyan to explain why the docs are missing.

Alumyan claims his record contains attorney-related legal secrets that are protected under law, so he's exempt from the declaration.

CPC, citing a law, made a counter-claim. If Alumyan fails to submit the docs, CPC will launch an ethics hearing which could turn into a felony case.

CPC only needs the 2019 documents. "Our primary job is to prevent corruption and to give a person a chance to correct their mistake."

Alumyan is currently preparing the documents.

--

could he be hiding it due to George Soros connection?

Kocharyan's camp is a starch critic of George Soros. They like to present Nikol Pashinyan as Soros's puppet who is here to make your kids gay and to force you to forget the Armenian language.

Alumyan revealed in 2019 that he took grants from Soros's Open Society Foundation because his clients didn't have cash, so Soros paid their bills. He also traveled to a lawyers' conference paid by Soros. He also cooperated with Soros's team tasked with various legal reforms between 2014-2019.

dOes 👏 yOuR 👏 mOm 👏 kNOw 👏 yOU'rE 👏 fRienDs 👏 with GEorGie?

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/09/23/Դրամաշնորհներ-և-վարձատրություն-Սորոսի-հիմնադրամից․-Հայկ-Ալումյանի-չներկայացրած-հայտարագրերի-շուրջ/395785

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/266149/

HHK tatik roasts Pashinyan with a diss track / Thanks America / Asks Putin to wire cash

HHK party has a fangirl grandma known as "HHK tatik". She used to stay outside of HHK office and Parliament to ask for handouts while praising Serj.

Today she thanked the United States Congress and the government for recognizing the Armenian genocide.

She also thanked Vladimir Putin. "I love you very much, Vladimir Putin. My father died in WW2 at the age of 40. I'm his only child. I ask you to help with an apartment for my 7-child family. I'm sending you my bank account. Can you wire some cash to grandma?"

She then badmouthed Levon Ter-Petrosyan and read a poem about Nikol Pashinyan being a liar. (gotta give it to grandma, she knows how to appease Putin)

Full: https://youtu.be/Pr5m5Tj-Lf0

former officials busted with stealing money dedicated for elderly

The report says: // Labor Ministry officials and social services employees embezzled public funds in 2015-2018.

The budget envisioned funds to help thousands of lonely elderly and disabled. For the funds not to be cut, the officials exaggerated the number of recipients by entering thousands of fake names. $373,000 was embezzled. A felony case is launched. //

(HHK tatik should get apartment money from Serjik instead of Vlad. Change my mind.)

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196472

U.S. authorities arrest former HHK MP Arthur Gevorgyan

He's accused of breaking U.S. laws. Although not impossible, it's a difficult process to extradite him to Armenia due to lack of certain agreements with the U.S., said Armenian prosecutors.

The ex-MP is also wanted in Armenia for alleged illegal enrichment and failing to dislocate properties. [[2020 April 2|That's the former boxer dude who bought mansions in LA and was exposed by Hetq outlet].

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196543

trial begins for Tsarukyan's right-hand man

Tsarukyan's Multi Group director Sedrak Arustamyan is a suspect in 3 cases: bribing HHK's IRS boss to give Tsarukyan's business favorable conditions, North-South highway fraud, and knowingly continuing an illegal construction in Yerevan despite being told to stop.

Today's trial is for the latter. He asked Yerevan deputy mayor to appear for questioning. It's about construction on Abovyan 5/1, 5/2, 5/5 address.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196538

Tsarukyan's "voter bribery" case

BHK leader was earlier charged with buying voters during the 2017 elections. Two dozen people are facing charges.

162 people have been questioned, including ex-BHK officials, some of whom confessed.

https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30856187.html

Privet Rob

19 years ago today, Kocharyan's bodyguards murdered his co-villager in the Paplavok restaurant's toilet for simply greeting Kocharyan with "privet Rob".

That case was recently sent for retrial after new evidence and witnesses emerged. The old verdict was a slap on the wrist.

https://youtu.be/9MZe1xxLloo?t=237

drone footage contradicts former police chief's claims

Ex-top-cop Vladimir Gasparyan allegedly assaulted Azatutyun journalists for filming his [illegal] Sevan mansion with a drone. He claimed the drone endangered his health and privacy by flying 10 meters away and intruding in his backyard.

The police investigated the drone footage and found that the drone was at least 40 meters above and "couldn't even identify people by face".

The police refused Gasparyan's petition against journalists.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285445/

NSS busted one of their own agents w/corruption

The report says: the agent defrauded 6 citizens of $2,700 by giving fake promises about being able to "solve" their DUI cases and giving them driver license in exchange for a bribe.

A felony case is launched. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196523

still no air travel to Russia

On Monday, Russia lifted the COVID-related travel ban with three EAEU states, but not Armenia, which prompted criticism and accusations of purposeful discrimination. Dozens of people gathered in front of the Armenian govt building demanding the ability to return back to Russia.

EAEU states have agreed to meet in Yerevan to discuss travel and other issues on October 8th.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196492

COVID stats / Govt warns not to lose vigilance

+3,913 tested (the number is high due to mass testing of teachers and co-workers of infected people). +374 infected. +240 healed. +3 deaths. 3,748 active. 272,235 tested.

Pashinyan: there is an increased physical movement activity. The numbers are rising. We need to remember about personal responsibilities. Inspections will become stricter.

Healthcare Minister Torosyan: 30% of beds are free. 5+3 hospitals are handling COVID. Next week we'll find out if the resumption of schools caused a big spike.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196511

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028611.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028612.html

consumer product prices

Product prices +0.8% YoY in the January-August period.

August YoY: all together +1.8%, food & beverages +1.6%, fruits +31%, sugar -4%, meat -4%, cheese and eggs -4%, eggs -21%, fuel -23%.

https://factor.am/286292.html

25th COVID aid package approved / tourism

The govt will support transport companies in the tourism industry by reimbursing 75% of unpaid interest, between April 2020-2021.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196512

tuition aid for university students?

Education Minister Harutyunyan says they're discussing multiple ways on how to help students who can't pay tuition. Details available soon.

The 14th COVID aid package provided tuition subsidy but was mainly for those with A and B grades. The students want a new aid package that applies to everyone.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196528 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196561

deputy Education Minister and anti-plagiarism chiefs are sacked

Grisha Tamrazyan had disagreements with QP MP Julfalakyan over sorts (Education Ministry includes Sports Ministry). This resulted in the MP's resignation. He had problems with Tamrazyan.

Tamrazyan was also criticized by his fellow Education Ministry official Gogyan in a case involving plagiarism investigation of Economics university's rector. There was a back and forth argument.

The anti-plagiarism chief Gogyan will also leave his position.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196544 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028720.html

old HayFilm movies will be digitized

Education Ministry and Cinema Center began a process to digitize old Armenian movies and documentaries that were left abandoned in the HayFilm office. They're mostly from the 1980s and 90s.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196554

freedom of speech / the U.S. Library of Congress

You may remember that when the Emergency State was declared, per legacy law, the media was required to circulate only official info about the virus.

After prompt criticism about free speech, the govt quickly lifted the restrictions. Pashinyan would later complain that the removal of restrictions allowed conspiracy theories to aid the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, the restrictions weren't re-implemented.

--

The Library of Congress prepared a report about the fake news and how various countries dealt with it, and also mentioned the aforementioned process in Armenia.

It mentions another law drafted by Nature Ministry that could allow the Ministry to keep certain info secret from the public. Critics say it will hinder environmental activists' efforts, while the Ministry says it's needed to protect rare animals/plants by keeping their location/details classified.

The Library also mentioned a law that restricts the entry of foreign channels in Armenia's free over-the-air public airways, unless an agreement is signed first. The govt says it's aimed as "protecting the Armenian language" and "prioritizing programming in Armenian" by preferring Armenian channels over foreign ones.

https://www.amerikayidzayn.com/a/5595119.html , https://factor.am/286364.html

Russia-Armenia shipping costs will drastically reduce

High-Tech Minister Arshakyan: // HayPost and Russian Post signed an agreement to reduce shipping fees beginning in October 1st.

3x reduction between the Moscow region, and 1.5x reduction with the rest of Russia.

To Moscow region: $6 for 1kg and extra $2.6 per additional kilo.

To other regions: $12.5 for 1kg and extra $3 per additional kilo.

This is great for our small and medium online businesses. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028623.html , https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285439/

relations with USA, RUS, EU, and neighbors

Security Councilman Grigoryan: a Russian analytical agency published a report about CSTO bloc cooperation which gave Armenia a very high mark.

Pashinyan: we'll soon hold the second round of strategic cooperation talks with the U.S. We have unusual but effective relations with our colleagues. The U.S., EU, and Russia are very important to us. There will be an EAEU meeting in Yerevan soon. Relations with Iran and Georgia also remain warm.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028641.html

police reforms enter a new stage

Armenia will have a new high-paying and better-equipped police patrol. The U.S. is aiding with the reforms. The applicants will be tested in 3 phases:

Step one (complete): check the applicants' computer and tech skills.

Step two (ongoing): check their physical skills. 1km run, strength measurements, etc. (էլ պուզատիկ միլիցյա չենք տեսնելու? 😞😞😞)

Step three: 5-month learning courses in the police academy.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196579

a new bridge near the Georgian border

The govt formed a committee tasked with preparing the construction of a new bridge on Debed river near the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen border point.

Some nearby lands will be legally taken from villagers in exchange for compensation to allow the construction of the bridge.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028670.html

Spanish Senate has unanimously approved

... the EU-ARM comprehensive cooperation agreement.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196527

Azeri media is forced to retract fake news about Lavrov

Yesterday we learned how Russian MFA made a "standard" statement about Artsakh conflict resolution. Azeri outlets distorted his words to present it pro-Azerbaijan.

When asked about it, Russian MFA said "get your news directly from us instead of [Azeri] interpretation."

Today the Azeri outlet edited the story to remove the misinformation.

https://factor.am/286333.html , https://eadaily.com/ru/news/2020/09/24/baku-dopolnil-moskvu-azerbaydzhan-udalil-svoyu-traktovku-slov-lavrova

Azeri tourist enters French municipality and makes a scene over Artsakh flag

... the mayor tells him "This isn't Azerbaijan. You don't make rules here."

The incident happened in Bourg-lès-Valence which is a sister-city with Artsakh's Shushi.

Mayor Marlen has been receiving threats from "dictatorial Azerbaijan" and "its ally Turkey" for flying the Artsakh flag.

Mayor's post: https://www.facebook.com/marlene.mourier/posts/10217541848726693

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285436/

Sweden appoints its first ambassador

... to Armenia, who is based in Armenia. He expects to see more Swedish companies operating in Armenia. President Sarkissian spoke about high-tech cooperation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196571

they are taking a bath

A group of volunteers are helping Nature Ministry to save storks by washing them.

In some areas, as much as 60% of the population is covered in dirt and oil waste. The theory is that stonks look for food from above, notice a fish breeding facility with plenty of fish, land there, and submerge in facility's pollutants.

Photos: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196536

--

You've read 2185 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/iz2m99/sep242020_news_shipping_cost_plummets_free_speech/

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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