2019 January 15

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Jan/15/2019: //// Mayor is charged for embezzlement, money recovered // Kocharyan bail hearing judge's record // List of large businesses & number of jobs moved out of grey economy so far // Government and its transparency levels // PM criticizes fake news about his family // Yere..
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.


Investigation Committee has pressed criminal charges against the mayor of Artamet.

He is accused of abusing his power for several years, and stealing wheat seeds and fertilizer worth 6.5mln that were meant for the farmers. He then falsified documents to hide the theft before submitting to Armavir Governor's office.

He also stole the funds collected from the sale of grains.

The mayor is facing 2 criminal charges. He has so far returned 2.8mln to the state.



Here is the list of large businesses that, on 2018, moved 37,000 employees from the grey economy to taxable sphere, by properly registering them as employees. (From supermarkets, to gas giants, to mining.)



PM Pashinyan responds to criticism by citizens that high profile crime suspects are often released from prison after posting bail. Says he has no control over the judicial system, and that judges should work in an unobstructed way.

Says shutting down streets to protest Manvel Grigoryan's release is counter-productive because it is an attack against the newly elected democratic government, and not the judicial system.

Says at the same time, no corruptioneer will get away with crimes.



The new administration has received and responded to unprecedented number of media requests, says PM's office.

The office says the number of official information exchange with media has doubled compared to previous years, which shows an unprecedented levels of transparency. Only 2 requests were left unanswered by the office.



90% of the media in Armenia belongs to the old regime, the opposition, says PM Pashinyan. He complained that these networks are misleading the readers with an attempt to present QP as similar to HHK, by drawing absurd parallels and spreading fake news about him and family.

For example, says PM, his son recently took a vacation after serving for 6 months, which is a standard practice. He says some outlets are presenting the vacation as an example of a favorable treatment. In another instance, he complained about the coverage of his family shopping tour in which they spent 50k, and were portrayed as out of touch elites. He says the old regime is trying to convince the public that nothing has changed since the revolution. [Previously, outlets incorrectly reported that first lady traveled to provinces with a helicopter, that PM's office staff smoked marijuana, etc]

"Can you imagine that the new administration members also wear clothes, eat khash and have one nose and two feet?", sarcastically says PM. [A news outlet was recently criticized for writing an article portraying QP as no better than HHK because they also eat khash breakfast together]

PM says his administration did not shut down the media and does not take over the opposition businesses, as it was done in the old days.

He plans to use Facebook at least once a month to directly talk to citizens.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/152357 ----- https://youtu.be/Bd2AThzF12M?t=203


The new judge in Kocharyan bail hearing case was one of the prosecutors in Nikol Pashinyan's Oragir newspaper case from 1999.

The Kocharyan administration shut down Pashinyan's Oragir news network on 1999, took all his computers, took Pashinyan to court and sentenced him to 1 year in prison for allegedly defaming then NSS chief Serzh Sargsyan.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/152358 --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikol_Pashinyan



The new judge is once again asked to recuse himself. He rejected a similar request yesterday, after it was discovered he is friends with Kocharyan lawyer's family.

Today, judge was asked to recuse himself because the judge was supposed to be selected through an automated lottery system, but he was hand picked, even though he was not officially on duty. Kocharyan's lawyers want him to be replaced (to avoid calls of bias), because the previous judge was recused under similar circumstances.



The judge has once again refused to recuse himself. The explanation is that the court's chief judge has the right to hand pick judges.

Kocharyan's lawyer does not accept this explanation, but says they have no choice but to proceed the case with this judge.



Deaths in the army have overall decreased by 17% on 2018. Accident related deaths rose, while deaths on front-lines decreased.



The new Parliament has voted to confirm the formation of 11 committees. 8 of them to be managed by QP, 2 by BHK, 1 by LHK (Bright Armenia).

Some of these committees are new and will take on duties that will replace ministries, such as Diaspora Ministry.

Parliament speaker (president, candidate of winning party) Ararat Mirzoyan will have 3 deputies: QP Alen Simonyan, QP Lena Nazaryan, BHK Enfiajyan.

The latter was elected instead of LHK Mane Tandilyan, with the help of QP during the voting process. The reason behind supporting Enfiajyan was the fact that BHK won more ballots during the elections, said QP.




Yerevan municipality had earlier raised administrative fees for businesses operating at late hours, and for businesses selling certain types of products, while excluding very small businesses from the hike.

The low fee rates will soon apply to businesses making less than 115mln a year. They'll see fees reduced by 60% for selling fuels, 70% reduction for food and lounge businesses operating after midnight.



Yerevan municipality had earlier announced that Nubarashen garbage field would shut down. They just announced that this year they'll begin to plant 20 hectares of forests in the dumping area and its vicinity, after covering the field with land



7.8 square meters of green area per resident, is the current level of green coverage in Yerevan, and it's twice less than the internationally recommended levels.

Municipality plans to plant 500k new trees in the next 5 years, out of which 30k will be planted this year.

When cafes nearby Opera Building vacate the area, city plans to replace all the trees in the area and install ones that always stay green, including firs (yeghevni).

Tree trimming services will stop the practice of cutting branches and transferring with trucks, and instead, they will grind the unwanted branches on the spot and load them into bags.




City plans to retrain employees tasked with taking care of trees, who often times cause more harm than good during improper trimming.

They encourage apartment owners to make their balconies more "green", which will also make the surroundings look more pleasant.

Municipality is working on an educational program that will allow school children to have a dedicated lessons where they can plant trees, work on a land and take care of plants.



Hrazdan mayor says night club closure in the city is something the residents have long asked for, and it was his personal decision to revoke the licenses. Crime, harassment and public nuisance was a big problem near the clubs at night. The clubs can open just outside of city premises, says mayor.

He denies rumors that he shut them down so he can open his own night club.



The new and better military shoes are Made in Artsakh Republic, mostly by parents who have sons in the army.



Romanian TAROM Airlines will do business in Armenia



Presidents of Kazakhstan, Japan, Iran, Georgia have also congratulated Pashinyan with PM election.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/152390 --- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/152409 ---- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/152410--- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/960875.html


Armenian students win 14 medals in Phys-Math Olympics held in Kazakhstan



Russian FM (foreign ministry) has sent a note to Azerbaijan embassy in Moscow about the ethnic discrimination of Armenians with Russian passport. (Russia does not directly mention Armenian ethnicity, but the context makes it clear it's about Armenians)



ANCA thanks President Trump and Congress for passing Genocide prevention act into law




Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/agdw31/anticorruption_jan152019_mayor_is_charged_for/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports