2019 February 26
Anti-Corruption Feb/26/2019: Former Hrazdan mayor arrested for embezzlement -- Ministry cooperates with law enforcement to have two state investigators arrested for abuse of power -- school director charged -- Defense Minister confirms military was used on March 1st -- more below
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Police: Hrazadan's former mayor Aram Danielyan is arrested for large scale embezzlement and wasting state resources during 2015- 2018.
Residents have long complained about the mayor and accused him of misusing the funds and not addressing the issues. He was replaced last year through the elections.
Defense Minister David Tonoyan says the preliminary investigation confirms that the army was involved during the March 1st, 2008 events. He won't comment further due to the ongoing legal case.
The National Security Service has arrested two rank-and-file State Oversight Committee (SOC) employees for abuse of power, which they allegedly committed during auditing medical dialysis transactions. Media outlet analitik had earlier incorrectly stated that 4 high ranking officials were arrested, including a possible arrest of the SOC chief himself.
Former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan's (under investigation) aide has used the opportunity to organize a protest against the SOC, which earlier uncovered a 800mln corruption in the Yerevan State University, and bribery by its chief. (SOC has a lengthy record of uncovering a billion Dram worth corruptions in various fields committed by the former regime representatives.)
The allies of the accused University chief are unhappy about the recent 800mln abuse revelations, and have attempted to use the recent arrest of two SOC agents in an unrelated incident to claim the University's investigation was illegal. They were protesting outside of the University, when the SOC agent, who was in charge of the University's investigation, met them and dismissed the rumors that he was the one under arrest.
The high ranking SOC agent, who was incorrectly reported to be under arrest, gave an interview, stating that he was/is not under an arrested, and he was not questioned by the NSS. He says the SOC chief Sanasaryan wasn't questioned by NSS either.
He currently auditing the M. Heratsu Medical University.
This is why the two SOC agents were arrested:
The agents were investigating a large company which supplies dialysis medical equipment in several hospitals, for a possible monopoly. The head of the alleged monopoly company complained that the SOC was putting a pressure on them to take their business away. The SOC agents insisted that their actions were legal, and it was meant to end the monopoly in the dialysis field, and they continued to investigate the dialysis equipment transactions in several hospitals. The SOC agents, then allegedly helped a competitor company to win some of the dialysis contracts with hospitals.
The Health Minister Torosyan found out about this, investigated, and concluded that SOC's audits and its legal ramifications could abruptly cut off the dialysis treatment supplies to patients and put their lives at risk, so he contacted the NSS to end the SOC's intervention.
Health Minister Torosyan also says there are multiple suppliers of the medical products in question. This was another reason the Minister decided to contact NSS, because he disagreed with SOC agents' claims about the monopoly.
It appears that the SOC agents were arrested because the NSS concluded that they abused their powers by helping a competitor medical provider to win some of the contracts.
The St. Gregory Illuminator hospital's new chief says the problem with dialysis equipment is this: in past, the medical companies which supplied the equipment, were also required to service and repair it. Hospitals didn't have many suppliers, but at least the suppliers were providing full after-sale service. That repair-providing requirement was later removed, which increased the number of suppliers, but did not increase the number of companies which service the equipment (because that's not profitable). This has placed the patients in danger.
The NSS may also investigate the contract that was won by the new competitor.
NSS has busted Gyumri chess school director with 8mln in embezzlements though employee record falsifications. Felony charges are filed.
Yerevan municipality has halted another illegal building construction, this time in Hrazdan gorge. The builders received a permit to build a recreational center, but allegedly ended up violating the initial contracts and built something you only see in Frankenstain movies.
Yerevan municipality owns a building on Byuzand St. It has been used free of charge by various banks, opposition and pro-government media organizations, etc. Most of them are using the space for free, while others are paying a rent. The municipality has notified the organizations that the free-ride is over, and they may have to lease another area. Some of the media outlets didn't want to lose the opportunity to mislead the public, and have presented this story as a pressure on an opposition media.
EU ambassador Switalski says there is a possibility that Armenia could receive $700mln grant from Eu, as part of EU's $13bln project to help build roads and infrastructure in other nations. EU is currently providing $10mln to Armenia to rebuild its southern point of entry.
Switalski says the courts need to be reformed, but won't advise whether Armenia needs a transitional justice system or not, he leaves it to Armenians to decide.
The judge who earlier received a formal warning from the judicial ethics committee, is accused by the defendant of falsifying documents to cover-up his actions which led to him receiving the warning.
The ethics committee of justices had found that the judge failed to notify the defendant Vahagn Harutyunyan (former March 1st investigator) about his upcoming court hearing session date. The court hearing took place without the defendant's presence. The judge got a warning.
The defendant is now insisting that in order to cover up his negligence, the judge entered a fake phone call record to make it look as if tried to call the defendants to notify about the upcoming court hearing.
Defendant has contacted Special Investigation Service and asked them to investigate the judge.
Health Ministry's medical helicopter has arrived. Next month, the company which operates it, will begin to fly some patients to cut the travel time.
Who is a good girl?
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/av5n8c/anticorruption_feb262019_former_hrazdan_mayor/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|