2019 August 6
Anti-Corruption & News - Aug/6/2019 ::: NSS recovers purged documents related to March 1st case ::: 3 arrested in former MP's car bombing case ::: Pan-Armenian Olympics ::: 3 school officials charged ::: Water ::: Gyumri's dolphins and jets ::: Doctors and medical care ::: $234 million
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.
We begin today's broadcast with the important news first. This guy got arrested for drifting in a mall parking lot.
Ilham ALiyev is not happy that Pashinyan said Artsakh is Armenia. Today his office released a statement saying Karabakh is ackchyually Azerbaijan. End of story.
Artsakh is hosting the 7th pan-Armenian Olympic games. Diaspora and Armenia's provinces will send their best athletes to compete until August 17th.
International Mathematics Competition was held in Bulgaria. Armenian team won 3 gold and 3 silver medals.
The replacement group of humanitarian envoy to Syria has treated 638 patients and cleared 28,000 m2 area from mines.
Earlier we learned that the emigration has been significantly reduced since last year. There are more details available now.
1H19 vs 1H18 births decreased by 0.9%, deaths increased by 4.3%. In 1H19 the natural population growth was 2,300 (birth minus deaths). Emigration was 6,000. That's a net loss of 3,700 people in 1H19 so far.
Tall walls are being built in a luxury area of Yerevan. Some people complained that it's in violation of laws that protect the nearby fresh water pipelines. Veolia Water company says the pipeline was properly moved and isn't an issue.
A municipality examination found safety violation related to walls being too tall and unsafe, and issued the construction firm a $600 fine. The construction begin in September 2018.
The construction company is Griar, which belongs to the family of Serj's close friend and Panama Paper suspect Mihran Poghosyan (currently in Russia waiting for extradition hearing). Because of this connection, there are rumors that Serj Sargsyan is building a new mansion there. Serj's office didn't respond to questions seeking clarification. The construction firm's director says there are no plans to build a building and that it's only for gardens. It'll be open for the public once the construction is done in 2020, said the director.
Nature Protection ministry has examined the water quality in 18 locations on 10 rivers that pour into Lake Sevan, and discovered that 5 of them carry lots of nitrogen and phosphorus which is bad for the lake. The pollution mainly comes from household and agricultural waste that is dumped into the rivers.
Russian low cost airlines Pobeda complained that Gyumri airport doesn't put enough fuel in the tanks. This could endanger a flight if in the case of emergency the plane had to travel significantly longer, said Pobeda. Zvartnots contradicted the claim, saying enough fuel is provided. Civil Aviation spoke with Pobeda and said the problem was resolved, but there are still talks that the company isn't satisfied.
Pashinyan's adviser Hakob Chagharyan thinks the fuel isn't the reason, and that Pobeda is using this as a playing card to get savings in the form of subsidy or tax waiver, after the Civil Aviation begun negotiating with European RyanAir for it to enter the market (RyanAir asked for Air Tax to be waived). Chagharyan brings this as an example on why Armenia cannot rely on foreign airline companies and needs its own.
Gyumri will soon have a dolphinarium. Two dolphins and a sea lion are brought from a Russian dolphinarium. The 300 seat amphitheater is ready. The crew is finishing the training courses. Tickets are around $8.
Gagik Petrosyan is the businessman financing the project. He has dolphinarium in several countries. He says dolphins have plenty of room, will receive medical care, and were born in another dolphinarium and not caught from the sea.
There are 42 doctors per 10,000 people. It's significantly lower than in neighboring countries per 2015 study.
Yerevan has 4x more doctors per-capita than the provinces. The number of doctors has reduced 3% in 2012-2017. A 13% drop in students choosing to become doctors.
1 in 68 residents have some form of a tumor per Hetq study. Only 52 certified oncologists practice in Armenia. Two provinces have none.
Some medical branches have very few specialists who are almost exclusively in Yerevan.
(data updated in 2017)
Radiation treatment is free for all cancer patients regardless of income/age beginning July. Those who paid for the treatment and are currently receiving the care will be issued a refund.
A Supreme Court Council judge commented on their recent decision to suspend judge Davit Grigoryan. Councilman says the board of judges received multiple pieces of evidence showing that the September-2018 forgery accusations against judge Davit Grigoryan (who later became the Kocharyan judge, and sentenced Sasna Tsrer memberss in past) were credible. The board did not find the case to be politically motivated. The board's decision to suspend the judge is not an automatic guilty verdict and he is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, said the Councilman.
Update: NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan earlier said they found out that some documents were purged from the NSS archive. He says most of them have now been recovered. They are mostly related to the March 1st case and have been sent to the SIS to be attached to that investigation.
He wants reforms in the system. Wants to have the foreign intelligence wing detached from the main NSS for it to work better, but there are resource related questions.
The investigators say they busted the current director, former director and one other official at Yeghegnadzor musical school with corruption and embezzlement.
In September 2018, the teachers wrote an open letter to PM Pashinyan complaining that in 2014 the director allegedly illegally forced the teaching records to be falsified so extra state funds could be deducted from the budget, which went into the director's pockets. Investigation has revealed multiple such instances in 2017-2018.
In another instance, residents of Yeghegnadzor wrote an open letter to the governor with a corruption complaint. Investigation revealed that festival expenditure books were cooked by a director to steal state funds. 2.2mln has been recovered so far. The current director is suspended. All 3 are told not to leave the country.
Update: an explosion happened on Sevan-Yerevan road. The former BHK oligarch MP Shshi Melo's car was targeted. He survived.
The authorities have 5 people on the radar. The victim's brother and an accomplice are facing felony obstruction of justice and endangering peace officer charges, after they disobeyed police orders and removed evidence from the crime scene. Police has asked the judge for an arrest warrant for the victim's brother.
3 others are facing charges for what appears to be directly related to the detonation. NSS arrested them.
Update: last year the NSS said the mayor of Karchevan was busted with organizing fake land auctions near the Meghri free trade zone. Someone claiming to be from former Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan's office allegedly instructed them to organize the auctions to change some land ownership.
Prosecutors have officially pressed 3 felony charges against the mayor. 2 others had the charges dropped due to the 2018 mass amnesty. Few more participants will be charged.
General prosecutor's office says $234 million in embezzled funds were uncovered during criminal investigations since June 2018. The $63 million has been recovered. Another 5 mil collected from penalties.
In 2009, high ranking Yerevan municipality official Albert Yeritsyan leased the 2.8 hectare Malakan Park to a company belonging to his son for $550/month, for the duration of 50 years.
They promised to improve the park, but didn't. The park is now sub-leased to another company that operates a zipline.
Mayor Marutyan's administration recently launched a legal process to end the 50 year lease. The park is now part of Yerevan again. District manager says they'll soon purchase a new irrigation system for the park once the auction is done.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cmv37a/anticorruption_news_aug62019_nss_recovers_purged/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|