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2018 December 4

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Dec/4/2018: Former state officials charged with embezzlement; mayor and school director caught; a political party vice president arrested for bribery; Kocharyan says he didn't know about Order 0038; (more below..)
by ar_david_hh

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

The fight against corruption involving state officials and funds in one graph. 2018 vs past. http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149792

Vice president of Armenian Eagles political party has been detained by NSS for corruption and bribery, after uncovering evidence of him helping individuals to solve army, job and other issues through bribes http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149797

Kocharyan lawyers want the higher court to send the arrest/no-arrest case to the Constitutional Court. The higher court will publish the verdict on December 7th. Kocharyan now says he wasn't aware of order 0038, signed by his Defense Minister after a meeting. http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149798

Another mayor and a school director face criminal charges for abuse of power, embezzlement and falsification of documents. They hired non-existent employees then stole the salaries. http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149821

Prosecutor's office publishes details about HHK MP and former Education Minister Armen Ashotyan's case. On April/10/2018, Prosecutors launched (and froze until summer) an investigation against several people including a school director for abuse of power. They were accused of taking advantage of a law granting funds to help bordering and remote villages with teacher shortage, by issuing free education to students who signed an agreement that they would stay there and work as teachers for a while in exchange for a free education. Minister Ashotyan was tasked with organizing the process of supplying and managing the free education seats to schools. A province governor was supposed to receive the applicant data from school directors then submit it to Ashotyan. During this process, a school director allegedly broke the law by issuing 20 diplomas to students immediately after they graduated the school (or university) for unknown reasons, instead of issuing them after they stayed and worked as a teacher, per agreement. These 20 students left and never worked as teachers, so the government asked the director to return the funds it paid to the school. In some instances, a director himself rejected the subsidized student's job application. Dozens of officials, Ashotyan, the students and even their parents have been questioned in the case. Prosecutor's office has denied Ashotyan's claim that he was called for a questioning during a political campaign in order to harm him politically, citing the fact that Ashotyan himself asked to postpone his November 20th interview until November 28th, and that several other similar meeting have been held during the summer.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956876.html

Former assistant chief of State Property Management has been arrested for abuse of power, falsifying documents, illegally selling a AMD 244mln worth property for 23mln https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956808.html

HHK MP Arpine Hovhanisyan has joined her colleagues in accusing the police of being "a tool of repression". She submitted a complaint about an alleged incident in which one of HHK supporters was threatened that HHK shouldn't get more than 10 votes. The police didn't find an evidence of unlawful conduct. The Prosecutor's office was involved too, but also couldn't find a crime. The police has urged Hovhanisyan "not to gain political points during the election season by spreading false rumors about the law enforcement." https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956807.html

HHK ally and former NSS chief Davit Shahnazaryan (DS) says QP MP Sasun Mikaelyan (SM), an Artsakh war hero, is responsible for the loss of Omar territory in Artsakh on 1994, and that allegedly Defense Minister Vazgen Sargsyan tried to have him executed for it. SM responds to the claims by saying that the territory was lost on 1993, before Vazgen ordered him to gather volunteers and defend the remaining region, during which his battalion had 8 casualties. Says DS is trying to win political points by distorting the reality, and that Vazgen and him were always friendly. He called DS to discuss with him the claims, but DS hang up the phone after finding out it was SM on the phone.

...Moreover, SM says that after the 2008 elections on February 17th, during which he was an opposition and was against Serj, DS came to his office, ordered everyone to leave so they could talk. During the conversation, DS allegedly told SM that there is a state order to open fire at SM, and it's best for him not to come to Yerevan. [SM is from Hrazdan city]. SM made a decision to come to Yerevan nonetheless, and participated in protests which later turned out deadly after the military/police opened fire at the crowd. SM says DM has to give answers "for his behavior and lies". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQfkqxAHcpQ

ARF, HHK, OEK and QP held a public debate by lower ranking candidates. 1 HOUR VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8GN2HR-IDs

Parliament session in which MPs were supposed to vote to strip a HHK MP of immunity to allow $14mln bribery arrest, has been canceled due to lack of MPs. QP and ARF were present. Only few MPs from HHK and BBK showed up, thus canceling the session http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149749

A SU-25 jet has crashed during a routine daily exercise. Pilots Armen Babayan and Movses Manukyan have died. An investigation is launched to check if safety protocols were violated before or during the flight. The red box has been recovered. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956845.html

...the fighter jet is an older model which was purchased on 2004 from Slovakia, among with 9 other similar units, for a total of $8mln. Armenia has 14 fighter jets and plans to buy 12 more modern SU-30SM units on 2019. https://hetq.am/hy/article/98750

The trade with Iran has increased. Imports rose by over 48% on 2018. Two countries have agreed to build a hydro power plant on Araks River https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956844.html

As part of tax reduction and reforms, the government had earlier decided to increase taxes on items like cigarettes and alcohol to offset some of revenue losses. Today, Ministry of Finances has proposed to add beverages that contain over 5g sugar to the list of extra taxable items. This will also help to fight obesity and diabetes, says the Ministry. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/956865.html

Italian popular attire companies will produce clothing in Yerevan. Armenian government has invested $15mln in the project, while the companies will bring the machinery. It will open on 2019 and provide 3,000 new jobs with avg 135k salary. The investment agreement was signed during 1st Deputy PM Mirzoyan's summer trip to Rome. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/149837

Yerevan municipality plans to repair and restore the aerial tramway (chopanughi). It plans to cooperate with a private investor to attract an investment to rebuild it as an alternative transportation for city residents. It'll be around 5-6km long, carry 3k passengers per hour, requires 3 years of construction. The chopanughi stopped working on 2004, was built on 1967. http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149741

LIKE A TRUE HYE! A dude noticed a QP candidate in province and complained that the latter didn't say hi while walking nearby. He then made a scene about it. This is the most Armenian thing you'll read this week:

"համայնքի մշակույթի քանդված տան մոտ կանգնած մի մարդ, դեռ նրան չմոտեցած, ասել է. «էդ չես էլ բարեւո՞ւմ», հետո արհեստական խոչընդոտ է ստեղծել Մանավազյանի եւ իր թիմի համար եւ փորձել է բախում հրահրել:"

The Dude's version of the events: «Ես ի՞նչ բախման պիտի տանեմ, ցավդ տանեմ, երկրորդ կարգի հաշմանդամ տղա եմ, հազիվ ոտքի վրա կանգնած եմ: Հարցրել եմ, որ եթե բարով-խերով ընտրվեք պատգամավոր, ո՞նց կտենաք մեր կուլտուրայի առաջին քայլերը...

(Ara yes մեռա while reading the article.)

http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149771

Meet the First Puppy http://armtimes.com/hy/article/149820

Foreign Stuff.

Luca Modric, the Croat player of Real Madrid, breaks the 11-year Golden Ball win-streak by Messi and Ronaldo. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/263037/

American oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron will sell their stakes in Azeri oil fields and exit the country. Chevron will also sell its interest in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

"The ACG [Azeri oil] project received particular Western support due to hopes it would help cut Europe’s reliance on Russian energy, but those hopes faded as new large discoveries failed to materialize. Most U.S. companies sold out of the project or were acquired by rivals, while U.S. support to the Azeri administration also shrank."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-exxon-azerbaijan-exclusive/exclusive-exxon-chevron-seek-to-exit-azerbaijans-oil-after-25-years-idUSKBN1O315D

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/a34ly9/anticorruption_dec42018_former_state_officials/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports
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