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2018 December 3

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Dec/3/2018: Prosecutors charge HHK MP with $14mln bribery and abuse of power; NSS busts price fixing conspiracy between nuclear plant servicing firms; School director charged with theft of AMD 121mln funds; At least 1 North-South official charged; PM says $2.5bln to be recovered...
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.

Prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for HHK MP Aram Harutyunyan, the former Minister of Nature Protection. The Parliament has been notified because he has an MP immunity, which may be stripped during tomorrow's Parliamentary session if the required votes are present. Harutyunyan is suspected of taking and stealing $14mln in bribes and illegally issuing 10 mining licenses, in the case that was earlier revealed when a businesswoman came forward with the story. The previous HHK administration froze the investigation, but it was restarted after the revolution. Now, the prosecutors have officially pressed the charges after receiving the necessary documents from foreign embassies and banks. According to ArmTimes sources, Harutyunyan attempted to flee the country last week but his exit was denied at Zvartnots airport. Parliament speaker Babloyan was unable to reach him today. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956655.html - - - - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956649.html ---- VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLLG37BEgK0


http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/149735

NSS uncovers a criminal collusion between officials and heads of companies that service the nuclear plant. They are accused of price fixing and selling AMD 7mln parts for 33mln.

... In another major corruption bust, NSS found that the director of Komotas Musical Institute Gyumri branch has transferred AMD 121mln of institute money to a foundation managed by him, turn embezzled the funds. He's also accused of stealing 3mln Rubles that was issued as a grant for a festival. He allegedly cooked the books to make it appear as if the funds were spent on hotel rooms for the guests.

... total of 10 criminal cases have been launched regarding this and few other regional embezzlement suspects in recent times. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956640.html

Ministry of Healthcare vows to find those responsible for issuing 40 fake medical diplomas to doctors and pharmacists in Israel. The 40 dropouts of foreign medical institutions decided to purchase their diplomas in Armenia after registering as students in multiple Armenian medical institutions, before being caught and arrested in Israel for providing services illegally with fraudulent documents. https://factor.am/104537.html

Kocharyan's March 1st case is being reviewed back in the higher court again. Today, his lawyers argued that Kocharyan may or may not have known about order 0038, signed by the Defense Minister (wanted, arrest warrant issued) which according to prosecutors was illegal. Prosecutors spent 40 minutes presenting counter-arguments. (This lawsuit will last a while and require several court sessions.) http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/149726

Criminal charges have been pressed against at least one official in the embezzlement and misuse of AMD 24bln during North-South highway project https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956685.html

PM Pashinyan says he supports the idea of changing the Constitution to add more checks and balances against the PM's office, to solve what others call "super PM" issue. When HHK changed the Constitution earlier, they gave extensive powers to the PM, which became a subject of critique. Pashinyan doesn't believe the Constitution should be changed often, considering the fact that it was last changed just 7 months ago. He says another clause in the Constitution, which requires all MPs and Government members to have lived in Armenia for at least 4 years, to be changed, in order to allow professional diaspora Armenians to be able to contribute https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956604.html

... PM got an electric shock by a faulty mic during the speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va76U1jRfKE

... The government has approved a project to begin seismic retrofit repairs for 6 schools in provinces and Yerevan. Dozens of other buildings are on the list. The funds mainly come from the Asian Development Bank's $107mln loan https://factor.am/104616.html

... Pashinyan says within the next 5 years, his administration will work on recovering $2.5bln (2.5 billion dollars) from the former politicians who embezzled funds, and they'll use the money on the army. If the funds are returned voluntarily, says Pashinyan, it will be taken into consideration by the law enforcement. Says $2.5bln isn't necessarily all of the funds that were stolen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJAm2p0walg

HHK Shawarmazanov accuses Pashinyan of not doing anything in the past 7 months except for lying. Compares him to Adolf Hitler, and the new Armenia to the Nazi Germany. Complains that the administration rejected his "anti-gay and drugs propaganda" bill. https://youtu.be/R7bu4DYe3hU?t=231

... Pashinyan says during the rally that he supports the Church and calls for rejection of sects that limit personal freedoms. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263014/

HHK Ashotyan will sue 1st Deputy PM Mirzoyan for calling HHK a "band of criminals" ttps://www.aysor.am/am/news/2018/12/01/Աշոտյան-Միրզոյան/1498538

... Ashotyan, QP Alen Simonyan and members of other parties will hold a public debate on December 6th http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/149634

Minister of Education demonstrates how the school books will have a support for Virtual Reality and audio. Students can install an app and receive visual/verbal explanations and stories on the books, Harry Potter-style. DEMO: https://www.a1plus.am/1652108.html

Armenia has improved its stance in world energy ranking due to two large energy exchange projects with neighboring Georgia and Iran, as well as growing solar farms. The country is 42nd. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956702.html

Ministry of Healthcare has established a medical aviation branch, which will transport patients through the air between the major hospitals. Two copter pads will be build soon https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956641.html

The "tech-city" in Yerevan will be built within 1.5 years. The government has invest $10mln out of $30mln funds. The project will host startups, 32 established companies, labs from international top-5 research organizations, training for thousands of tech workers, and 2,000 new jobs. VIDEO: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956569.html ------ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tuZz9Ymhig

Agricultural exports have increased by $32mln this year, says Pashinyan. "The locally produced anti Hail systems can be effective if used properly". https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956662.html

Yerevan municipality instructs another construction company to destroy the illegally built structure next to an apartment building on Nairi Zaryan St. The company has voluntarily destroyed it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956744.html

Armenia is the 3rd most militarized country in the world (and the first in Europe). Azerbaijan is 12th, Israel 1st, Singapore 2nd. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263024/

Some of you were asking about the military service in Armenia if you left the country as a young boy without serving, and now want to return but don't want to deal with the law enforcement. Here is some official information for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3kEN5FHUU0

President Sarkissian has thanked and issued an award to British chief firefighter Paul Barnes for his role in rescue operations during the 1988 earthquake https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956680.html

Crimean citizens have voted to rename the Simferopol airport after Armenian painter Hovhannes Aivazovsky https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956759.html

Gevorg Afrikyan wins the bench pressing European Paralympic championship https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956572.html

Mikael Mikaelyan wins the gold medal in U20 international skiing competition held in Finland http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/149654

Smart Qyart app. Download for iOS and Android now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlQKbffQMQY

NSS arrests an oligarch https://youtu.be/Mhb9NzqA09o?t=46

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/a2snla/anticorruption_dec32018_prosecutors_charge_hhk_mp/

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