2018 August 16
Anti-Corruption 8/16/2018: ⚖ March 1st investigator explains why the court's decision to release Kocharyan was illegal. Serj and Taron Margaryan to be questioned by Investigators and NSS. A lot more below! ⚖
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.
NSS chief Vanetsyan says former Yerevan mayor will be questioned as part of the "Yerevan fund" corruption scandal https://armlur.am/831803/
Chief investigator of March 1st events says former president Serj Sargsyan will also be called in for a questioning 🔥🔥🔥 https://armlur.am/831636/
... investigator repeats that the higher court's recent decision to annul Kocharyan's 2-month imprisonment was illegal. He brings multiple reasons why the judge should have recused himself, and also why the actual decision was illegal.
... the judge did in fact notify everyone, right before the trial, that he had worked under Kocharyan administration, but none of the sides asked him to recuse himself, because they didn't see that fact alone as a proof that he must be biased. The prosecutors (separate from investigators) could have asked him to be removed for that, but chose not to.
...investigator says he sees no problem with the judge working in Rob administration. But the issue is that the judge had resided 9 times over court trials which sentenced anti-Kocharyan/Serj protesters in the March 1st events in past. During these trials, judge Azaryan used harsh words to generalize anti-Rob/Serj protesters as arsonists and violent rioters. Investigator says the judge didn't notify both sides about these past trials, and if he did, the prosecutors would have asked him to recuse himself from the Kocharyan trial.
... the investigator also says that judge Azaryan took advantage of the fact that the chief judge was on a vacation, and he assigned himself to this trial on purpose, without notifying others about his conflict of interest.
... then explains why the ruling was illegal. He says the job of the higher court was to check whether the lower court's decision to temporarily arrest the defendant was with a merit, in others words, whether the defendant is hit with a sentence that matches the crime he is accused of being involved in. Azaryan's actions went outside of the scope of the higher's court's duties, because his decision was that Kocharyan cannot be prosecuted because of immunity. This is not up to the higher court to decide that at this point in time. The higher court's job was to decide whether Kocharyan has any role in the March 1st events, whether guilty or not, and approve the lower court's decision, if he is involved, and also verify that he is charged with whatever he is accused of doing. The job of checking whether Kocharyan is innocent or immune is not the higher court's decision in this instance, according to the investigator.
Analogy: Rob works at a grocery store. Someone steals money from the cash register. Rob is accused of stealing it. Prosecutor charges Rob with theft. Lower court says OK, I can see that Rob is accused of stealing money, I can see that he works there, I can see that he had access to it, so it's not as filovirus lawsuit, and I can see that you want him to be behind bars for now. So lower court says Rob will stay locked up for now. Rob takes the case to higher court. The higher court's job is to check whether Rob has any role in this theft story or not. He does, because he was at the store and is the primary suspect. We don't know if he is the thief or not, but the higher court shouldn't care about that. Higher court should only care whether Rob is a completely random dude found on the street, or someone who is relevant to the story. Instead, higher court says Rob is a low income pleb thus he has the right to steal money.
NSS chief says former PM Muk Abrahamyan's brother's weapons are still being investigated for possible involvement in the March 1st shootings. The agency will shoot from those weapons, collect the shells, microscopically compare the shapes of those shells with the un-identified hundreds of shells that the police found on March 1st. If it's a match, that means those weapons were used on March 1st. Every weapon leaves a unique trace on a bullet shell when it's fired. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UbLlt6O-yE
Several officials of Lori governor's office face criminal charges for abuse of power and embezzlement. Few rank and file employees of the department contacted the police and complained that the officials deducted money from the monthly salaries and sent it to a fund managed by the gubernatorial officials. Schools directors were also pressured to collect money. Total of AMD 82mln was embezzled. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944078/
From May 8 to August 10, the authorities have uncovered AMD 42bln by uncovering corruption cases https://armlur.am/831728/
8 social security workers in Shengavit are facing 11 criminal charges for bribery and corruption, one employee under arrest http://investigative.am/news/view/shengavit-socajakcutyun.html
2018H1 vs 2017H1 Armenia's debt increase has been halted and even slightly decreased, after PM Pashinyan's policy of borrowing less and making sure the existing loans are used properly https://armlur.am/831586/
In the first 7 months of 2018, the IRS has collected as much taxes as it had predicted for the whole year https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944022/
PM Pashinyan says the infamous groups of election riggers will be prosecuted if they attempt to conduct voter fraud in the upcoming Yerevan municipality elections. Claims these elections will be the most transparent in history https://news.am/arm/news/466537.html
NSS chief Vanetsyan says the agency has recovered 9x more money in the past 100 days, than in 2017 as a whole. Won't comment on why the previous administration wasn't as effective https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944024/
NSS chief says 9 clubs in Armenian soccer league support his candidacy as the Soccer Federation HFF chief. There is an unconfirmed information that the current chief Ruben Hayrapetyan plans to resign soon, after years of complaints by soccer fans and teams. NSS chief says that in the event of him being elected as the HFF chief, there will be no "fixed matches". Most of the soccer administrative work is done by foreign soccer bodies (UEFA, FIFA) and that most of his time will be spent on the NSS work https://news.am/arm/news/466546.html
Police chief Osipyan says a new point-based penalty system used in EU and Georgia will be implemented in Armenia this coming fall, to discourage bad behavior by the drivers and to save lives. Each driver will have a pool of points every year. Each violation will deduct points. Running out of points means losing the driver's license. Serious violations will still result in an instant ticket https://news.am/arm/news/466550.html
... Osipyan dares the local criminals to attempt voter fraud or intimidations. "I eagerly wait to see which one will be first". https://armlur.am/831646/
Stats time! The emigration exodus has slowed down by 30% in H1 of 2018 compared to H1 of 2017. The natural growth is up by 19%. More people still leave than return to Armenia, but at a lower rate compared to previous periods. https://armlur.am/831649/
Minister of Agriculture says beginning next year, farmers from Shirak province will be part of a pilot program that insures farmers against hail and frost. The affected businesses will receive a full compensation https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944035/
Minister of Education discourages parents from buying school supplies with Velvet Revolution slogans on them. Doesn't want schools to be politicized. Says the grade-books (մատյան) will be digitized. Less paperwork for teachers. https://news.am/arm/news/466512.html --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K41jIwODSrc
Promise kept: Minister of Culture and Minister of Education announce a plan to allow 350,000 students to visit historical monuments, museums or theaters free of charge 3 times every year. Students will be given a voucher that has 3 detachable parts. The museum will detach and keep one of the vouchers , then submit it to the government to receive a compensation. The budget is AMD 400mln. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOP5ys04es
Venezuelan dictator Nikol Maduro is sentenced to 18 years in prison and is told to pay $35mln in fines for corruption, by a court that he exiled years earlier during series of political persecutions against opposition figures https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944038/
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/97wot6/anticorruption_8162018_march_1st_investigator/
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