2019 August 23

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - Aug/23/2019 ::: Pashinyan visits Jermuk -- Amulsar opponents and proponents ::: Skyscraper in Yerevan ::: Yerevan garbage ::: Pashinyan reverses a decision made by Kocharyan ::: Penitentiary officials busted ::: High ranking army official arrested - bribery & extortion
by ar_david_hh

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise.


PM Pashinyan went to Jermuk and nearby areas to speak with residents about Amulsar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGT2egppexY

Residents tried to convince him not to allow the mine's operation, saying Amulsar must remain intact. Pashinyan noted that Amulsar can never be intact again because $400mln has already been spent and a big hole has been dug already. People were chanting slogans against the Amulsar mining as the PM left to meet others.

Former HHK governor of Vayots Dzor (current chief of staff of Constitution Court) was among the protesters. He told Pashinyan that several changes have been made to the mine that can harm the nature, and the explosions done on the sight will cause too much dust. https://news.am/arm/news/529965.html

A businesswoman said she is concerned about the water and air. Pashinyan said a routine examination will take vegetation samples near the area. If the dust is above the legal limits, the mine will be given 3 months to fix the problem or face a shutdown. Pashinyan said if the studies show the water and air are within legal limits, there needs to be a "balanced decision" around the mine's operation. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/985749.html

Other residents said even if the study shows it's safe, they are still against the operation. PM said he doesn't share that view, and that could also cause legal problems. PM said he plans to have a video chat with the ELARD examiners and then publish it on the internet.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167800 --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167808 --- https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167820

He then cracked a joke after a resident said his cows have already stopped drinking water from the rivers [the mine isn't operating at the moment].

հետո կատակեց՝ դիմելով տեղի բնակիչ Օհանին․ «Օհան, կովերի վրա հոգեբանական ազդեցություն ես գործել, որ ջուր չխմեն, էնքան եք ասել՝ «Ամուլսարն առանց հանքի», էլ էդ կովը ջուր կխմի՞ ստեղից»։

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167815

Other residents were in favor of Amusal mining. They said it'll create jobs for them so they won't have to leave Armenia, and it will provide resources to help the budget in times of war. They asked PM to allow the mining if it's found to be safe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rGB0GF6jJg --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=95wDUCFL-k0

The Investigative Committee, which was tasked with examining whether former Nature Ministry officials purposely hid environmental factors around Amulsar, earlier said they didn't find evidence of felony acts. They have released a comprehensive report about their work: http://investigative.am/images/2019/amulsar_asulis/teghekanq-amulsar.pdf

Investigative Committee also released an animated film showing the extra safety measures that Lydian is told to implement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLSSA0HB65I

Apparently, the company that said they want to build a 71 story skyscraper in Yerevan, are serious. Laura Investment Inc. management met Ministry of Economics. The building will be built by an Arab company that builds other skyscrapers in Gulf nations, will have modern seismic standards, 2 years to plan, 5 years to build, $270mln investment, residential apartments, nearby parks and playgrounds, zipline and resting area.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167816

Update: Yerevan municipality has received a new batch of 600 garbage bins and 5 trucks for garbage collection. They are "competing" against the private firm Sanitek.

https://factor.am/177405.html -- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/985752.html

In 1999, president Robert Kocharyan criticized Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan (an ally of a political opponent Vazgen Sargsyan) alleging that he overstepped his boundaries by shutting down a road leading to Yerevan after the Octover 27th terrorist attack. Harutyunyan denied breaking the law. His relations with Kocharyan were rocky. He was eventually sacked and had his military rank stripped by Kocharyan in 2002.

Harutyunyan is among the high ranking officials who publicly criticized Kocharyan for negotiating with Azerbaijan to give part of Armenia's southern province to Azerbaijan in exchange for a "status" for Lachin corridor in Artsakh. Harutyunyan's allied "Hanrapetutyun party" led by Vazgen Sargsyan's brother, have long labeled Harutyunyan's sacking as a political retaliation by Kocharyan.

PM Pashinyan has just reversed Kocharyan's decision that stripped the Lt. General from his rank.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167818 --- https://www.azatutyun.am/a/29844606.html

Speaking of Kocharyan, 5-TV media outlet is accused of misleading the public for spreading info that Pashinyan placed the national security at risk by recently publishing soldier salary raise info. (salaries rose by 7-18%)

https://fip.am/8044

The police says they busted penitentiary officials working under Justice Ministry, with felony embezzlement and abuse of power between 2016-2017. A boss and a subordinate created illegal barriers for a company that wanted to participate in a food delivery auction for the institute. Officials didn't let the company participate, and picked a favored company with higher prices, causing a 13mln damage. They then falsified documents to claim an auction happened, says the police. Investigative Committee is investigating.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/985731.html

Update: former mayor of Azatamut is facing 12 felony charges for various instances of corruption. He served since 2008 and was forced to resign in 2018 after a wave of anti-corruption protests begun in several settlements, including Azatamut. Investigative journalists have raised corruption questions since 2016.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/106666

Investigators have charged an army Colonel with felony abuse of power.

Accusations: in 2014, when he was an investigator in the army, he purposely allowed a friend's relative, who was internationally wanted by the Russian authorities, to enter Armenia without being arrested. He then took a 68.2mln bribe from the suspect to hide him in Armenia, help him get an Armenian passport, give him a military certificate confirming he served in the army.

Things got sour in 2015. Colonel assaulted the man and demanded another 7mln, or else he would ask his friends in Russia to harm the man's family property in Russia.

He is arrested and charged with 4 felonies.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167811


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cuidc3/anticorruption_news_aug232019_pashinyan_visits/


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