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2018 October 29

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Oct/29/2018: Old forces organize paid protests against Pashinyan; Former police boss's relatives and Transport Ministry staff charged with extortion; HHK sabotages the Electoral Reform again; HFF+NSS=BFF; (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.

NOT ABOVE THE LAW ANYMORE

The prosecutors launch a criminal investigation against a high ranking official of Ministry of Transport, and a high ranking police officer of organized crime task-force (ironic), for allegedly threatening and forcing a company to give away its gas station on 2014.

... The police officer also allegedly used a gun to threaten another shareholder to give away his shares.

... The Russian-Armenian business owner has decided to contact PM Pashinyan and provide the details, which prompted the investigation.

... Pashinyan has earlier encouraged local and diaspora investors to cooperate with the new authorities with any information that may lead to the uncovering of past crimes. This is part of an attempt to create a better environment to attract business investments.

... the high ranking Ministry of Transport official is none other than the brother of Vladimir Gasparyan, the former police chief. The police officer who threatened the shareholder with a gun is his nephew.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147210

This year, the prosecutors have so far uncovered AMD 64.1bln worth corruption by government officials. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147208

HFF (Football Federation) has found numerous instances of document forgeries by various youth soccer competition officials. The officials will face a disciplinary action. As a reminder, HFF has recently elected NSS chief Vanetsyan as their president. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147232

CRAZY, BABY

The Minister of Health has received a resignation papers of the director of Psychiatric Center, who was accused of obstruction of investigation of Human Rights commission. It was earlier reported that a man was being illegally kept in a psychiatric clinic. He was also criticized for an irrational behavior during an official event last week. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/952571.html

TIGRAN AVINYAN AT THE CENTER OF MEDIA HIT-PIECES AGAIN

Minister of Agriculture is asked about a World Bank-sponsored grant that was issued to several businesses, one of which is owned by a relative of the now-Deputy PM Avinyan. Several media outlets have presented this as an abuse of power. Here are the details:

...on February 14th, when Avinyan was not part of the government yet, a business owned by him (or family) applied for a government grant in the agriculture field. It was one of 49 businesses that did so. Once the petition was received, an independent commission studied the deals and recommended the grant-issuing committee to consider several businesses due to favorable conditions, one of which was Avinyan's business. The Committee then sent a petition to the World Bank to ask for the money, which used another committee to "double-check" the businesses. After receiving the green light, the committee issued grants to 26 businesses, one of which was Avinyan's.

... certain media outlets have suggested that it's possible that Avinyan was the one who recommended the grant-issuing committee chair to become the Minister of Agriculture as a "reward", but so far there is no evidence suggesting that, and the man is a career politician serving 10 years in the field. In addition, the local grant-issuing committee managed by the now-Minister had no direct say on which companies received the money, and Avinyan was not in power at the time, and even after becoming the Deputy PM, did not have power over the World Bank's grant-issuing committee.

... Minister of Agriculture also denies the rumors that he is related to former PM Karen Karapetyan.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147252 --- https://hetq.am/hy/article/97641

(Reminder: A media outlet recently accused Avinyan of smoking marijuana in his office, which he denied and claimed defamatory. The media outlet was so confident in their sources, that they dared Avinyan to sue them for defamation, claiming that Avinyan would never sue them because a lawsuit would involve a blood test which would prove Avinyan smoked weed. Avinyan ended up taking the challenge. He is suing the company for passing what he calls defamatory rumors, as facts.)

AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW...

Pashinyan's opponents are paying their ally activists to organize flash-mobs to shut down streets for 10 minute at a time, for 20 days. A participant said "if Pashinyan can shut down streets, why can't we do it". The goal is to portray the new current government in a bad light. "Has Pashinyan kept his promises? Do you like the current state of the country?", one activist is heard saying. The activists organized via a chat app. They were told to say that they were pro-Pashinyan and pro-revolution. Some of them didn't know what the protests were going to be about.

SCREENSHOTS / VIDEO: http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147262

Press R to pay $1,000 of your stolen money to activists...

THE PARLIAMENT IS VOTING FOR THE ELECTORAL REFORMS AGAIN

65 MPs are present. 63 YES votes are needed to pass it. HHK has not showed up again. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147205

BHK has brought all of its 31 MPs for the vote http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147207

Two of ARF members are missing. This can jeopardize the passage. Naira Zohrabyan takes a break to give more time for the MPs to show up. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147213

The bill has failed again. 62 MPs voted in favor, leaving only 1 vote short. Two ARF MPs didn’t show up. Some HHKs went against the party lines and voted in favor. Most of HHK never showed up, sabotaging the bill for the second time. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147226

ARF chief says one of their missing MPs had voted in favor last time. He couldn’t establish contact with them to check their whereabouts http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147229

QP won’t initiate a voting for the third time, calls it pointless. The upcoming elections will happen with the old Electoral Code. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/952595.html

MORE TRANSPARENT THAN GEORGIA?

After Georgian Mikhail Sahakashvili’s National Unity party lost the elections to a more pro-Russian Georgian Dream party led by the country’s richest man, there have been numerous developments. Recently, leaked audio tapes have revealed a large-scale racketeering and corruption by the very high ranking officials of Dream party, who allegedly demanded bribes from opposition businesses and news outlets in exchange for allowing them to continue to operate. The TV channel that reported the leaks was shut down under a financial pressure after the tapes were released.

The Dream candidate also has a record of [indirectly] blaming Georgia for the 2008 war with Russia, and has once referred to Abkhazia as Georgia’s migraine that Georgia needs to get rid of. Russia views Dream as the favorable party.

The Dream government has recently fabricated (per European investigation conclusion) claims against Mikhail Sahakashvili and accused him of masterminding a murder of a popular businessman. The purpose was not to allow Sahakashvili to return to Georgia, because they see him as a threat.

Sahakashvili had vowed to return and clean up the corruption in the country. For that to happen, his National party candidate has to win these presidential elections and grant him a pardon (already promised to do so). Georgia is a Parliamentary country but a pardoning power is one of the things that the president still has. This is the last time Georgian voters will be directly electing a president.

During yesterday’s elections, in which Dream candidate kept a 1% lead, there have been numerous reports and videos of ballot stuffings, bribery, forgery and pressure on observers. The 3rd candidate who won 10% of the votes will endorse the National candidate on the final round, making it more likely for Sahakashvili to return.

Video: http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/147199

HOW MUCH DO YOU BENCH PRESS BRO

The weightlifting youth team has won 34 medals (14 gold) in the European championship https://armenpress.am/arm/news/952589.html

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9sgv6k/anticorruption_oct292018_old_forces_organize_paid/

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