2019 February 1
Anti-Corruption Feb/1/2019: / NSS / Kocharyan / SIS busts an IRS agent / "Yerevan Foundation" returns the stolen 1.8bln / 10,000 doctors - another pay rise / more investments / debt stats / amnesty changes / Germany / Cancer treatment / surveys / Պուլպուլակ /
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
The NSS had earlier launched a criminal case against Kocharyan (family) for obtaining property through corruption. Chief Vanetsyan says the agency will soon publish the details about his property.
We first learned about this last September. During the press conference, Vanetsyan said Kocharyan obtained a hotel through bribery, which he later clarified as through the means of fraud and not bribery. Kocharyan's son is currently suing Vanetsyan for defamation because of the slip-up.
Kocharyan was earlier sent back to jail after the courts ruled that he doesn't have an immunity. He later tried to get out by posting bail, but was denied. He is currently appealing the decision with a hope to be released on bail.
During today's trial, Kocharyan argued that he gave an order on February 23rd not to use the army against the public, but to prevent it from joining the protesters, because he had information that it could. Says he was not aware of the existence of order 0038, and that Defense Ministers don't report every order to the commander-in-chief.
In past, Kocharyan's allies tried to mislead the public by taking Levon Ter-Petrosyan's (LTP) 2008 public square speech out of context to make it appear as if LTP was trying to have the military join the protesters. The full video of the LTP speech shows that LTP's phone call to Manvel Grigoryan (then a military general) was not to convince the military to join the crowd, but to stay out of the situation and not to come out against the people. As we now know, LTP's efforts were fruitless.
The SIS has pressed felony charges against an IRS employee for abuse of power and theft of 7.4mln.
On two occasions, the IRS employee was bribed by businessmen to influence his colleague to make a favorable decision towards the businesses. The IRS employee took the bribe money but didn't actually help the businessmen with their case.
The businessmen are also facing criminal charges for bribing.
(insert a scumbag-steve-but-with-a-twist meme here)
Yerevan Foundation, which was caught with embezzlement after witnesses came forward last year, has returned all of the stolen 1.8bln to the budget.
Yerevan municipality has launched a pilot program with Veolia Water to cut water loss from drinking pulpulak fountains. They'll install manual switches to release the flow only when needed. Yerevan loses 4.3mln tons of fresh water every year through the fountains.
"Italian Stoneware" company will create a ceramics factory in Armenia and provide 150 jobs with above average salary. They chose to do the business in Armenia and not in a neighboring country partly because of efforts by Multi-Group company's negotiations, said the company spokesman.
Business Armenia foundation has secured a record 6.8bln in investments on 2018. They gained 26 AMD for each 1 AMD that was spent. 116 Armenian companies were able to participate in 10 international expos and to find clients.
Re-investments also grew. 2016 - 0 AMD; 2017 - 7.3bln; 2018 - 10.3bln.
On 2018, they met with 392 potential investors and agreed to discuss the possibility of 170.4bln in investments.
There are 91 people serving a life sentence in Armenia. The government spends a total of 4.3mln/year to keep them in jail. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/962717.html
19 inmates who were in the list to receive the 2018 amnesty will remain in jail, after prosecutors found errors in their case. (this is unrelated to life sentence inmates story above)
The Justice Ministry has proposed changes to the law to eliminate the possibility of an amnesty and to remove the statue of limitations on old crimes, specifically for crimes that involved torture or inhumane actions. This is open for public discussion.
At the moment, it is possible to get away with these heavy crimes if you're caught only decades later.
PM Pashinyan met Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. He hopes to begin the visa regime reforms between EU-Armenia soon.
Merkel noted that Pashinyan has taken "brave" steps towards the resolution of Artsakh conflict, and that the other side should do the same. Actions should follow the words, said Merkel.
Merkel was apparently referring to "brave step" the Pashinyan's speech last year, during which he said that Artsakh solution result should be beneficial to Azeri public too, and not just Armenia and Artsakh. Pashinyan at the time was hoping to hear a similar speech from Aliyev, but the latter didn't make one, says Pashinyan.
PM also added that he can't negotiate on behalf of Artsakh Republic because Artsakh population does not participate in the elections in Armenia, and he isn't their elected representative.
Merkel has confirmed EU representative Hahn's statement that EU will increase aid to Armenia after the positive developments since the 2018 revolution.
They also discussed possible cooperation in tech sector, nature protection, etc
PM also met with German Parliament president and discussed the EU-Armenia comprehensive cooperation agreement, and Armenia's willingness to help to expedite the ratification process by all EU nations.
Armenia and Germany will work to make cancer, vaccines and other medical treatment better in Armenia. Some patients with complex cancer issues find themselves having to travel to EU for a treatment. Germany wants to help Armenia to do the procedures locally. A group of German delegation will visit Armenia this March to discuss it.
First lady Hakobyan met the administration of cancer treatment foundation City of Smile.
Armenia and Germany signed a memorandum on tech cooperation. Germans will participate in the international tech conference held in Armenia this Fall.
Over 59% of 796 survey participants believe CSTO won't provide military support to Armenia in the event of war with Azerbaijan.
51% believe that Russia is having a negative effect on Artsakh issue. Analyst believes it's because of recent weapons sales to Azerbaijan.
Only 19% of Armenians do not view Russia as an allied country. 41% believe it is. 40% think it partially is.
As long as the budget has a deficit and Armenia spends more than it earns, the debt will increase.
On 2017 the debt increase was 14%. On 2018 it only increased by 2.2%.
Most of the 2018 debt increase was from internal borrowing, which helps to keep the currency value stable.
The GDP to Debt ratio has improved last year, going from 54% to 50%. The 60% is the red line. This means the debt is still manageable.
Armenia is paying almost 10% of its budget to repay the debt. It is expected that this number will have to be significantly increased on 2020 to meet a deadline for some of the debts.
Armenia's biggest external creditor is World Bank at 42%. Asian and Eurasian Development banks are in the top list. Debt to Russia is 7.6% of all foreign debt.
Earlier we learned about a new initiative by President Sarkissian and PM's office to help soldiers who received disabilities while on duty to find work in government bodies.
NSS chief Vanetsyan says NSS and Football Federation are actively participating in the initiative.
The program to provide free stroke surgeries to all patients has begun. One person has already received care.
10,000 doctors working at ambulance and polyclinics will receive another 20% salary rise this year, making it the second rise in half a year. Their salaries have been increased by ~40% since last year, says Health Minister Torosyan.
The church will donate apartments to 7 families who survived the 1988 earthquake.
Lebanon's PM has appointed two Armenians as the Ministers of Tourism and Social Affairs.
10 employees of Passport department in Azerbaijan have been fired for illegally issuing passports to PKK terrorist group members, in exchange for money.
The group members were sheltered in Ramada hotel in Baku, which belongs to Ilham Aliyev's bodyguard chief, then given passports and sent to Europe, says Azadliq Azeri news organization.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/am6hhs/anticorruption_feb12019_nss_kocharyan_sis_busts/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|