2019 December 23
Anti-Corruption & Daily News Summary from Armenia - Dec/23/2019 :: Get your quick daily briefing about Law Enforcement Busts, Politics, Economy, Sports, Social Life, and more...
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.
October 27 terror trial judge busted in an unrelated bribery case. Escapes to Russia.
On November 26th we learned that NSS uncovered a 2007-2009 corruption incident involving officials.
A woman was kidnapped. The law enforcement officials took a bribe from the victim's father in order to find and arrest the perpetrator, but some other machinations happened.
On weekend the Supreme Court (not CC) stripped a judge named Samvel Uzunyan of judicial immunity so he can be arrested. NSS believes the judge was part of that scheme.
In addition, the judge is accused of abusing his powers to make sure a defendant/plaintiff won a trial on several instances, after taking 27mln in bribes.
Uzunyan was the chief judge of Avan district between 2004-2016. Since 2016 he's been a judge in Aragatsotn. He was the judge who presided over the October 27 parliament shooting trial. He's now suspended.
The authorities decided to arrest him but they needed the Supreme Court's permission first. While they were getting permission, someone most likely secretly informed the judge about his upcoming arrest, so he bought a ticket to Russia.
On Saturday the law enforcement stopped him at the airport and searched his belongings. They found a single bullet but no gun. The police chief launched an investigation to find out what the bullet was doing there; the police agents who searched the judge are also being questioned.
Because at the time of searchings there was no warrant for his arrest, Uzunyan was allowed to fly. The permission to detain him was available shortly afterward.
Someone must have leaked the arrest info to him or distracted the cops?
The self-proclaimed "պրակտիկ ռեալ պոլիտիկ" Kocharyan supporter from an undercover video is arrested.
Last week the police released an undercover video recorded by a March 1st victim in which the suspect, a Kocharyan supporter, was trying to coerce the victim to drop his claims that he was a victim, by not appearing to court hearings altogether, and by backtracking on earlier statements. A Bribe was promised.
The suspect Varujan Mkrtchyan has been arrested. A felony case is launched.
A judge had a felony investigation against him after the ambulance crew said he pointed a gun at them during a road rage incident. The SIS dropped the felony case due to a lack of evidence of a crime.
Serj's fugitive nephew Franklin Gonzalez has been extradited from Czechia.
The authorities placed an INTERPOL warrant for Franklin's arrest last year. He is wanted for the possession and distribution of narcotics, guns, etc.
His birth name is Narek Sargsyan but he was apprehended in a foreign airport with a fake Guatemalan passport under the name Franklin Gonzalez. He's currently held in Yerevan-Center jail.
The court has approved a 2-month detention.
The Soccer Federation held new elections after the entire board and the director quit a few months ago.
The Urartu club released a statement urging other teams to vote against the candidate who is supported by the HHK oligarch and former Soccer Federation chief Nemets Rubo. "We cannot allow the past to return", said the club.
3 candidates remain: Armen Melikbekyan, Tovmas Grigoryan (Nemets Rubo ally), and Khoren Hovhanisyan.
The 3rd candidate withdrew his bid and announced his support for Melikbekyan.
The elections took place. The de-facto leader and frontrunner Melikbekyan won. He now has a task to work on making Armenian soccer great again. Nemets' candidate believes Nemets' open support towards him harmed his chances. He also believes the elections were unfair and some of his supporters weren't allowed to participate in the voting.
Newly elect chief denied the rumors that Henrikh Mkhitaryan isn't going to be invited to the Armenian national team anymore.
LHK won't withdraw it's only candidate Khajakyan from Yerevan municipality council. Earlier they threatened a ragequit because other Luys Alliance members, which LHK is part of, were too unprofessional in their conduct. LHK complained that their work was being overshadowed by their fellows' scandalous behavior.
Khajakyan earlier claimed mayor Marutyan made an illegal decision to grant the wrong person some powers while away for holiday. He claimed it was a crime. The police invited him to give info.
The mayor earlier dismissed the claim, describing it as yet another attempt to create bolola at the municipality council.
Govt earlier conducted massive audits of 204 miners, issued 501mln in penalties for violations, and suspended 31 of them.
Today the Infrastructure Ministry said 21 subsoil miners were suspended.
Electricity in Armenia
6.25bln kWh electricity was generated in Armenia between Jan-Nov 2019, up 2.7% from 2018.
Nuclear up 4.2% (total 610mln kWh, nuke has been on-and-off for repairs)
Solar up 160% (total 11.4mln kWh)
By 2030 solar is expected to be 15% of all electricity production, or meet 30% of domestic needs.
Who is buying/selling houses?
In 2018 the Cadastre Committee began recording the citizenship of people buying and selling property in Armenia.
Those with a foreign citizenship account for 11% (4990) of property purchased and/or sold in Armenia in 2018.
Out of those 4990 transactions, 1743 were purchases.
Out of those 1743 purchases the 63% were in Yerevan. 11% in Kotayk. 7% in Armavir.
50% of these foreigners have Russian citizenship (many are probably diasporan Armenians). There are those from the U.S., Iran, Syria, EU.
The 2019 transactions are expected to be significantly higher because there were 662 transactions in October alone.
More GALLUP Intenraitonal poll results.
30% believe Armenia should have a balanced foreign policy.
30% believe Armenia should prioritize cooperation with Russia, while 28% believe that is what the govt is doing right now.
21% believe Armenia should prioritize cooperation with the EU, while 29% believe that is the current policy.
15% believe it should prioritize the U.S., while 19% believe that is the current policy.
10% said "other".
85% trust Pashinyan (almost half said "fully trust")
29% trust the Parliamentary opposition.
19% trust the non-Parliamentary opposition.
Whom would you vote for if the elections were held right now?
61% QP (would enter Parliament)
14% BHK (would enter Parliament)
4% LHK (would enter Parliament)
2.5% ARF (F)
1.5% HHK (F)
1.1% Sasna Tsrer (F)
Note: QP got 70% of votes in the 2018 elections.
Are you satisfied with the political party's current activities?
Sasna Tsrer 42%
HHK 11% (ARF in this league)
The survey was among 1517 between Nov/11-Dec/1 face-to-face.
Artsakh GDP grew 9% in 2019
Arusyak Alexanyan is the first-ever SIS investigator. She feels comfortable with the job. She wants to get married.
Army deaths in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Combat: 4 AM (+0 unknown), 7 AZ (+8 unknown)
Non-combat: 40 AM, 27 AZ (includes vehicle accidents, suicides, murders)
Armenia purchased TOR-M2KM anti-air system with its servicing vehicles from Russia in June-2019. The merch arrived and was presented over the weekend. "I can't say how many units, it's a secret", said Pashinyan.
Army says in many instances TOR more effective than some big-name long-range missiles that Armenia has.
The purchased units have an automated system. They were introduced in 2013 but the ones purchased by Armenia are brand new. Azerbaijan has an older model in its arsenal.
This TOR can:
simultaneously detect 100 targets within a 32km range
simultaneously monitor 20 high-speed maneuvering targets
Simultaneously shoot 2 targets with 2 rockets for each
shoot with a 98% accuracy within a 15km range
shoot a target at a 10m-10km altitude
TOR will significantly improve the army's short-distance warfare, including the fight against drones.
2-3 units are necessary for an excellent coverage. It isn't known how many they purchased so far.
A shout-out from soldiers
Pashinyan threw a mini-hissy fit about people loitering the streets.
"I can't imagine how people sit and play backgammon in an area filled with trash. This is the reality. It's like there is a harmony between us and the trash. We're working on a trash sorting facility, but the public needs to do its part."
Beginning January, the Education Ministry will quadruple the number of schools that qualify for a program that compensates teachers' and kids' transportation costs if they have to visit a nearby settlement to go to school.
Number of teachers to increase by over 2x, to 3k. 860 kids will receive this subsidy.
This is happening because the 2020 budget for this program rose by 3.5x. It'll apply to all provinces instead of 7 as done in the past.
16 settlements had a gas pipeline installed in 2019. 58 settlements had energy-efficient street lighting installations.
In 2015 the All-Armenia charity fund collected donations for projects relating to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. SOC audited the work and found 90mln in improper financial management.
Note: the charity administration has since changed and it's safe to donate.
Pashinyan's pyramid scheme is still duping people into donating to All-Armenia Fund.
A QP MP joins the challenge to make monthly $20 donations. He challenged 3 others to join.
You know what? I'm going to hotlink an image of a pagan calendar depicting holidays relating to Armenian hethanos gods. I don't care if ARF sends assassins to get me:
Christmas across Armenia
Yerevan's Christmas tree is lit. Fireworks and concert.
Video of how the tree is lit
Drone footage of the tree
Aleppo's Armenian community's Christmas tree was also lit.
Vanadzor Christmas tree is also lit.
Deputy PM Avinyan's daughter singing Jingle bells
13-year-old Emin Ohanyan is the champion of an international U16 chess tournament held in Zagreb.
Armenian youth team wins 7 gold and 2 silver medals in an international competition held in Russia.
87KG Tatev Hakobyan wins gold in Weightlifting World Cup held in Qatar.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/eeqe4f/anticorruption_daily_news_summary_from_armenia/
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