2018 November 12
Anti-Corruption Nov/12/2018: a vast network of fake news launches a smear campaign; gov-funded museum director caught embezzling millions; Yerevan administration demolishes illegally built buildings; Latest news about military; Sports champions return home; (read more below...)
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Over 300 fake social media accounts have begun a character-assassination campaign against the Minister of Healthcare Arsen Torosyan, after the latter audited the St. Gregory Illuminator hospital and discovered that Serj Sargsyan's relative (director) allegedly abused his powers to steal massive amounts of funds from the state. The fake accounts use pictures from people living in other countries to spread misinformation about Torosyan, and are believed to be tied to the director's son, according to FIP.
...other, more popular media outlets that spread misinformation about him, were the Armenia TV, Iravunk paper and politik.am website. The latter earlier accused another Pashinyan cabinet member of smoking marijuana and breaking the law in his office. The cabinet member agreed to take the case to court (and subsequently give a blood sample for analysis). NEWS.am has also spread misinformation about Health Minister's father, then purchased ads to promote the inaccurate article on the social media. https://fip.am/4726?fbclid=IwAR2kZVYcodotU-qdYGNWdYTCltR0ISHT8A1h6WWAUi8vqAhlR2X71cTtLPU
... analitik.am was caught spreading misinformation about March 1st events, by deliberately presenting events partially, to defend the HHK and Kocharyan regimes. They also incorrectly claimed that Levon Ter-Petrosyan was calling for the military to join them on 2008, while in reality he said (recorded on video) that he called the military to make sure they don't take actions against the protesters. https://fip.am/4857
... aysor.am, slaq.am and iravunk.am have spread misinformation by twisting Informed Citizens Daniel Ionessyan's words to make it appear as if he believes the old administration were more transparent than QP. This was regarding the Hrazdan pre-elections story in which IC employee (most likely by breaking the law) set up a bait to wiretap a conversation with a school director to see if the latter would abuse his powers https://fip.am/4879
Robert Kocharyan’s close ally has bought Ararat TV and half of the shares of Panorama.am and Aysor.am news sites http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148265
(Note: FIP.am is managed by Informed Citizens organizations run by Daniel Ionessyan.)
Government-funded Lori Pambak museum director is charged with embezzlement of AMD 7mln, after NSS sends information to the local police. She is accused of registering 8 non-existent people as employees to steal their salaries, as well as taking a bribe from several employees to falsify their work experience records http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148273
Serj Sargsyan and his right-hand man Karen Karapetyan won't participate in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. The HHK list will be headed by the former Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan, who has just been elected as the vice-president of HHK (Serj is the president, Karapetyan was the former vice-president). https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954107.html
The Pashinyan administration has reduced the country's debt by $143.2mln since taking the office https://factor.am/98072.html
PM Pashinyan says the politicians at the top of their party lists should hold live public debates during the election cycles. Doesn't rule out that this could become part of the Constitution in future. https://factor.am/98087.html
Yerevan municipality demolishes a 1100m2 building in Nor Norq district that was being built illegally https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdxe4RvwTPc
The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan will participate in the upcoming elections as part of Bright Armenia party, which is run by QP ally Edmon Marukyan https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954187.html
The Parliamentary Economic Committee is discussing the formation of a bill which could further limit certain types of gambling. The author of the bill, QP Alen Simonyan, wants a clause that will allow the wife to prevent the husband from wasting the family funds on gambling by taking the case to court and prohibiting him from using the family funds in gambling institutions. There are 62k regular gamblers in Armenia, out of whom 2k are highly addicted. A HHK member is concerned that any drastic measures to limit this type of gambling could harm jobs. Simonyan says they plan to limit the foreign online gambling websites to limit money leaving the country, and to require that these websites check that the person is above 21.
... another clause of the bill will outlaw gambling (bookmaker) centers in Yerevan or any other similar city where casinos are already banned. The players would need to go to the outer suburbs, like they do today, to play in casinos.
... gas stations will be prohibited from having gambling machines.
... another HHK member is in favor of completely banning bookmaker gambling centers across Armenia.
... the Economic Committee has given a negative opinion to this amendment to the law. It will be discussed further in the Parliament.
Turkish Justice Ministry asks the Armenian colleagues to deport the American-Turkish Azeri lobbyist to Turkey instead of United States, so he can be tried for allegedly aiding Erdogan's arch-nemesis Fatullah Gulen https://factor.am/98353.html
Press F to temporarily establish diplomatic ties with Armenia...
Artsakh war hero Jirayr Sefilian receives an Armenian citizenship. He can vote, but cannot he elected in a high ranking position yet https://www.hraparak.am/posts/5be6f73ccdd1fe19e00f65ee/ժիրայր-սեֆիլյանը-ստացավ-հհ-քաղաքացիություն
Azeri media has misrepresented a Bellingcat article about Azeri soldiers moving forward on their part of the land in Nakhijevan, and presented it as if they captured hills belonging to Armenians, says the author of the Bellingcat article https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954044.html
Defense Minister confirms that Azerbaijan is building trenches on their own part of the land https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954199.html
... says the attack drones designed and made in Artsakh Republic are already part of the Armenian army. They have entered the production phase. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954235.html
... from now on, the clothing for soldiers will be of a significantly better quality. (Earlier, several companies tasked with providing items to the military were caught defrauding the state of billions of Drams by accepting the funds but issuing lower quality product in violation of the contracts.) https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954231.html
...The second military deal with Russia in recent times, the $100mln one, has been finalized and signed. The arms are in the production phase. The Ministry is preparing for the possibility of signing the third deal. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954230.html
... Ministry will issue 1,400 apartments to low income soldiers after they finish their service https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954222.html
... Ministry will raise the salaries for soldiers by using its reserves. The military budget will increase by 27% on 2019 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954218.html
... Armenia plans to purchase twelve 4th generation fighter jets. There are talks with Sweden, Russia and possibly other countries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJmEsesIbvY
For the first time ever, Artsakh Republic budget will have a surplus. Health care expenditure will increase by 15%. Defense expenditure to increase by AMD 480mln for 2019. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954182.html
Armenia and Georgia will build a new 4-lane bridge at the border to improve the trade and tourism traffic http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/262220/
Football Federation (HFF) director Arthur Vanetsyan (NSS chief) says he has made an agreement with FIFA chief to build a new stadium in Yerevan. The 33,000-seat stadium will be used for international as well as local games. As for Hrazdan Stadium, it is still under HSBC Bank possession after defaulting on its debt long ago, needs $100mln for renovation to bring it to standards, and its location doesn't make it suitable for a serious utilization https://sport.news.am/arm/news/94523/artur-vanecyan-hff-n-ditarkum-e-azgayin-stadion-karucelu-nakhagits.html
Simon Martirosyan wins gold and Gor Minasyan wins silver in weightlifting world championship http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/148194
... their welcoming ceremony https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954147.html
Arsen Ghazaryan defeats the Azeri opponent, then wins a bronze medal in Sambo World Championship. Tigran Kirakosyan and Grigor Mkitaryan win silver https://armenpress.am/arm/news/954205.html
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9whlm0/anticorruption_nov122018_a_vast_network_of_fake/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|