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2018 November 2

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Nov/2/2018: Arrest warrant for ex-director of St. Gregory hospital; Kocharyan and Serj are accused of massive bribery by the same businesswoman who paid $14mln bribe to HHK MP; director of gov-funded organization stole garbage fees; (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 director of St. Gregory Illuminator hospital, who was fired months earlier after the Ministry of Health discovered massive fraud and document falsifications with the intention of stealing public funds by falsifying records of government-subsidized patients, has been charged with fraud and abuse of power. He is accused of colluding with other employees to steal AMD 426mln. The Ministry had earlier published an audio call from a patient who explained how the fraud worked. The ex-director is Serj Sargsyan's relative. An arrest warrant in-absentia is issued. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147641

The businesswoman who is cooperating with the authorities in the bribery case involving a HHK MP and former Nature Minister, says she has also paid bribes to Serj Sargsyan and Rob Kocharyan so they wouldn’t prevent her from selling her mining company shares worth $40mln to Arab businessmen. The bribery allegedly took place during Kocharyan years. Kocharyan’s allies and several other members were also a recipient, says businesswoman Silva Hambarzumyan. She says another large businessman (Samvel Mayrapetyan, H2 network co-owner we talked about earlier) who was recently arrested for assisting in bribery in another case, has been involved in this incident too, and that he could come out as a witness to ease his current sentence, but likely won’t do that because he benefited a lot from the Kocharyan-tied bribery cases http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261855

... Kocharyan plans to sue the businesswoman for alleged defamation http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147640

Press F to spend your money to defend Robert Kocharyan in court...

The Supreme Court council chairman and the former chief justice of Constitutional Court says the Constitution doesn’t give former presidents an absolute immunity from being arrested. http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261858

The Parliamentary investigative committee for leaked audio call examination is questioning the lower court judge who presided over Kocharyan verdict http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147589

... the judge says he wasn’t pressured by NSS Vanetsyan to make a specific decision. Says the audio leak mentions a different person’s name, and that he held no direct conversation with Vanetsyan about the Kocharyan verdict. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147594

... chairman of the committee, HHK Kostanyan, says they are satisfied with the behind-the-doors questioning results. May summon the judge again in future. Other persons involved in the case will be questioned too. (all major political parties have representatives in this committee) https://factor.am/96047.html

Criminal cause is launched against the director of a public-funded organization in Armavir for collecting garbage processing fees from the residents and embezzling AMD 9mln funds http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147644

Raids are being carried out against numerous criminal chiefs and local mafias in Vanadzor. Fully automatic weapons have been discovered. The raids are part of an investigation around a shooting in Vanadzor that took place few weeks ago, during which two Moscow-based mobsters were murdered. The police has arrested a thief-in-law named “Shaliko” as the suspect. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147599

A former commander of one of Yerevan’s police departments is charged with fraud and extortion of properties worth $200,000 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953190.html

Yerevan municipality has stopped the illegal construction of a building on Abovyan 5. The owners did not have a proper permit from the fire code inspectors and the Ministry of Culture https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953195.html

Tavush province prosecutors have launched 6x more corruption cases against public officials than on 2017 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953105.html

Samvel Aleksanyan’s sugar business share in the country has gone from 98% to 78%. Similar trend is seen in several other food categories http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147614

Minister of Justice says the amnesty bill states that it will be applied on some of the Sasna Tsrer group members only if the victims of the incident agree to it. Says those members who shot at the police do not qualify for amnesty at all. https://news.am/arm/news/479037.html

The lobbyist for Azerbaijan Kevin Oqsuz, who was also charged with avoiding taxes in Armenia, will be extradited from Armenia to United States for breaking US lobbying laws, the court rules http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147598

Foreign Minster of Iran has thanked the Armenian colleague for Armenia’s friendly stance towards Iran during John Bolton’s visit to Yerevan. Earlier, Pashinyan said he notified Bolton that Armenia cannot be part of the US effort to put pressure on Iran, because the neighboring relations are more important than the global geopolitical conflicts. Bolton had accepted the situation without objections. http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261817

The judge approves the petition to arrest the former March 1st investigator who is accused of tampering with evidence and a cover up. He is currently in Russia http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147593

Yuri Khachaturov, who is another suspect in March 1st case, is no longer the chairman of CSTO military bloc. Armenia has offered the committee to find a replacement http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147622

Military expenditure will be increased by $62mln for 2019. More funds will also be directed towards a better healthcare for the soldiers https://hetq.am/hy/article/97754

... education budget will be up 6.8% or $18.5mln https://hetq.am/hy/article/97768

First Lady denies visiting a newly formed business in Artik on a helicopter, after the newspaper “irates” published the info from unverified sources. The business manager says there was a helicopter visit, but not by the First Lady. The papers are now speculating that it was the former PM Tigran Sargsyan in the chopper. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147612

Deputy PM Avinyan says there could be a coordinated campaign to smear him and other officials in the cabinet (earlier a news agency wrote he was smoking marijuana in his office), after several media outlets claimed that he abused his power to receive public grants. He says his business applied for the grant long before he was a Deputy PM, and almost all the grant issuing steps took place before he was Deputy PM, and that he was a Deputy PM for only a few days when the World Bank committee finished the process and issued the grant to dozens of businesses, including his. He welcomes the investigation. Says he properly disclosed these business activities to the administration before assuming the job https://armenpress.am/arm/news/953172.html

To help reduce the alcohol abuse in Armenia, a law is being drafted to ban the advertisements of vodka and other hard alcohol with the exception of locally produced cognac, on the mass media. The current ban will be extended from the daytime hours to 24-hours. Armenians consume significantly more harmful alcohol than the neighbors. http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261832

OCSE secretary says little over a month period is a short time to organize elections, but it's understandable due to the political situation. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147655

YOUR DAILY WTF NEWS: Former MP Zaruhi Postanjyan says Nikol Pashinyan is in reality supporting Serj's agenda, because Serj himself helped the revolution to happen. She says several years ago, Serj created phony opposition groups and media outlets working for him, which ended up supporting Pashinyan and his Merjir Serjin movement. She says the revolution was organized and sponsored by Serj and his son-in-law (who has just been recalled as an ambassador to Portugal and Malta). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGULyD87TqM

Armenia has rejected the Azeri offer to hand over the 3 Armenian civilians held captive in Azerbaijan, in exchange for the 2 Azeri spies who infiltrated Artsakh and killed a teenager few years earlier, while documenting their plans on a video recorder. The Azeri media had earlier spread misinformation about 800 Azeris being held captive in Armenia http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147651

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9tn349/anticorruption_nov22018_arrest_warrant_for/

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