2019 July 22
Anti-Corruption & News - Jul/22/2019::: Prosecutor busted ::: Ijevan Deforestation ::: Police Body & Station Cameras ::: Officials busted w/ Sevan fishing bribe ::: Mayor busted ::: EU ambassador about courts ::: Minimum prison for drunk-driver deaths ::: Women in army ::: Stats :: Debt :: Georgia
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.
The police has found and arrested one of the members of the group that assaulted cops during Ijevan's illegal logger protest last week. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166722
10 have been arrested so far. 13 are facing charges. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166770
The police denied the allegations by Helsinki Group NGO chief alleging that cops used excessive force while handling the situation. Police says their members weren't heavily equipped initially because they didn't know the loggers would assault. Later they had to disperse the violent members. They justified the night-time house raids and arrests of perpetrators, saying the matter was "time sensitive".
Several residents had earlier complained that after the incident the police came into their houses and arrested family members while they were in pajamas.
Human Rights Ombudsman released a statement saying the process of arresting someone isn't properly regulated by the law to assure their rights are preserved. He said there are no complaints about a bad treatment by the police while in custody.
A vehicle blew past a red light at 4am on Yerevan-Sevan-Ijevan road. The police instructed the driver to stop but the latter kept driving. The police set up a barricade with their cars on the road, ahead of the driver. The driver reached the barricade, slammed through the police cars, and kept driving. He then steered into the forest, exited, ran away. He was trying to avoid an arrested for transporting 2m3 illegally cut trees.
The police uncovered 2 more instances of illegal logging overnight.
Ijevan police busted various factories with illegally obtained wood.
Defense Minister invited those who do illegal logging to instead serve in the military as a contractor, and get paid.
Cast your vote: should the government ease the laws on illegal logging? (96% said no as of writing this post. Pool size unknown.) https://a1plus.am/hy/article/344691
The police has proposed transparency reforms to install cameras in police stations and interrogation rooms to make sure people's rights aren't violated by the officers.
Another change seeks to establish body camera rules. If a camera is attached to a uniform, there is no need to inform the citizen that they are being recorded. If the police is in a civilian uniform and holds the camera in the hand, the citizen would need to be informed about the recording.
The NSS and the General Prosecutor's office have busted a high ranking prosecutor L.K.. He is accused of taking a large bribe from a felon in June 2019 to help reduce the 10-year prison sentence.
The NSS has busted several high ranking officials working at the government-run Sevan National Park for taking a bribe in 2018-2019 and allowing smugglers to cut trees illegally, and to illegally fish sig (whitefish) from Lake Sevan. The fish was confiscated and donated to people with special needs. Several park branch directors are facing felony charges.
NSS busts the former mayor of Chkalovka with stealing 1.2mln from funds allocated for for low-income residents between 2014-2016.
In 2015, he allegedly sold his personal car to the city for 35% above the market value and embezzled 3.4mln state funds.
EU's soon departing ambassador Pyotr Switalsky gave a press conference.
He said Armenia has made the first positive move last year by establishing democracy, and now "it's time to continue".
Some politicians in past thought they were above the law, and that feeling is being removed. It's time for judicial reforms, and EU will provide a large financial aid for this for the next 3-4 years, said the ambassador.
Said he doesn't see any attempts by the government to make the judicial system less independent, when asked by a journalist about judicial vetting. "Ես որեւէ պատճառ չունեմ այս պահին անհանգստանալու, որ միտում կա թուլացնելու դատական իշխանության անկախությունը Հայաստանում"
He said EU-Armenia cooperation agreement is on the right track. It is entering the implementation phase. He reminded that EU has increased cooperation aid from €35mln to €70mln for 2019.
He advised the media to protect their free speech rights, expose fake news, differentiate facts from opinion, combat hate speech.
Prosecutors are concerned about the double-digit rise in car accidents and deaths in the past 3 years. They found that significant portion of it is caused by drunk driving, speeding, and unlicensed driving. A rise in the number of cars is a contributing factor.
The prosecutors purchased a computer that analyzes risky areas and makes suggestions on how to reduce accidents, such as by reducing speed and improving signs.
Prosecutors have proposed an amendment to the law to increase the punishment for a death caused by drunk driving, or driving 2x the speed limit. Minimum of 3 years in prison is proposed, because the current law has a loophole that lets drunk drivers get away too easily.
Here is a marshutka driver driving and watching a video on his phone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adViMGizXzk
June 2019 vs June 2018, IRS collected 17% more taxes.
The number of wildfires has doubled in 2019 due to the heat waves that entered the country.
PM Pashinyan praised women's role in the army and other parts of life, and used "Ladies and Gentlemen officers" while addressing the military crowd during an army meeting today. "Հեռու չէ այն օրը, երբ կհնչի «Տիկնայք եւ պարոնայք գեներալներ»", said Pashinyan.
A female Lieutenant tells her journey https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982461.html
Armenian sappers in Syria cleared 8500 m3 area of mines since June. Hundreds of patients were given surgeries and other medical care.
67k cars were imported in all of 2018. This year 70k have been imported already, almost twice the rate. IRS thinks it's because people are doing it now to avoid the hefty EAEU trade bloc import tariffs that will begin in 2020. IRS will hire more workers at customs points to reduce wait times.
Yerevan metro station name placards will soon include English for tourists. Welcome to 20th century. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982508.html
During an economic conference in Shirak province, Pashinyan complained that 30% of people work in the agriculture field, yet only 14% of the GDP comes from agriculture. He says Armenia needs to expand the industrial output and reduce the reliance on agriculture.
Only $5.9 worth product is made in Armenia each hour, which is many times lower than in developed nations, noted the Beard Man, who produced exactly $0 worth products during the 2-hour conference /s.
Farmers were invited to Agrarian University and a field trip to learn on how to better manage cattle barns. Most farmers currently use the old methods of using dark and closed barns, while keeping cattle in light and open environment can be better. The government will provide subsidies to build "smart farms" with anti-bug systems, automated milking, automates poop removal, etc.
A barn for 12 animals costs 11mln, from which 5.5mln will be subsidized. Double the animals, double the expense and the subsidy.
National debt is $6.9bln, out of which $5.45bln is external.
Since 2019, the external debt is down by 1.4%, internal debt up by 6.3%. Overall debt up 0.2%.
43% of the external debt is owed to World Bank. 25% to the International Development Association. 17% to International Bank for Reconstruction and Development:
Most internal debt is treasury bonds purchased by citizens.
Math youth Olympiad in London. 2 silver, 1 bronze. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166712
15yo pianist Laura Galstyan won the 1st place in an international musical festival in Vienna. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982396.html
European youth soccer championship continues in Armenia. Semi-final teams are known: Portugal vs Ireland, France vs Spain. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/982390.html
Few days ago the Azeri army fired shots at Nakhijevan border. Defense Minister says the shots weren't aimed at anyone. Ministry used the direct contact established between Pashinyan-Aliyev, at lower military ranking level, to prevent similar ceasefire violations.
The Minister says Armenia is in talks with Russia to buy new types of weapons. "It'll be a surprise". The Su fighter jets will arrive by 1Q20.
Iran recently arrested 17 people with the accusations of spying for US. Two of them were allegedly earlier operating in Armenia, according to their report.
Air transportation between Georgia and Russia has plummeted by 80% after the direct travel ban. Land travel is down 6%.
Polls in Georgia: 90% said Georgia has good relations with Ukraine. USA 87% , Turkey 72% , Armenia 66% , China 58% , Azerbaijan 56% , Iran 45% .
PM Pashinyan is leaving for an 11-day vacation. 1st deputy PM Tigran Avinyan will substitute him. Armenia has never been closer to legalizing marijuana.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cghwna/anticorruption_news_jul222019_prosecutor_busted/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|