2019 June 11
Anti-Corruption & Other News from Armenia - Jun/11/2019
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.
Update: Ethics Committee of High-Ranking Officials has issued a warning to QP MP Alen Simonyan because last year he made an error while filing property ownership documents upon becoming a public official.
In the papers he listed the properties he owned at the time of filing the papers, while he was supposed to list the properties he owned at the time he became a public official. The MP admitted the error, calling it a common mistake by MPs, explaining it as a result of him being a first time public official. The MP is given 1 month to re-file his papers.
The FIP media outlet earlier also accused him of possible fraud, before backtracking on the accusation upon receiving additional documents by the MP which showed the records of where the money for his car came from (bank loan).
The SIS detained 2 police officers who earlier got drunk, mistook an innocent man for a burglar, and beat him up after causing a confrontation. The victim is a relative of Yerevan municipality council member.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163666 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos)
Few days before the court hearing, Manvel Grigoryan's health got significantly worse after he refused to take his medication. He was transferred to an emergency room, where he is currently attached to a breathing tube. The condition is stable and he could soon be discharged to a standard hospital room.
During the bail hearing trial, prosecutors said that during the initial investigation, Manvel called one of his subordinates and told him to take the blame for the stolen goods that was found in Manvel's mansion. Prosecutors submitted the evidence to the court.
Another notable event. A man contacted the court asking them to force Manvel to pay him $5mln for moral and physical damages because Manvel allegedly chained him up and kept him captive, few decades ago. He was a volunteer fighter during the Artsakh war, presumably affiliated with Manvel. Old photos were circulated showing the man chained on his neck.
The judge said the alleged incident is unrelated to this case. Prosecutor said they are looking into that incident as a separate case.
(Context: Manvel Grigoryan has long been accused of torturing and even getting some of his subordinate soldiers murdered, during the Artsakh war times.)
50/50 is for losers. Try 100/0.
A businessman's family came forward saying that in 2004, Manvel Grigoryan threatened their family if they refused give up the gas station. They say Manvel's people would constantly contact them with threats encouraging them to either give them the business or get hurt, and threats of abducting their kids. The businessman had to hire bodyguards for the kids to go to school safely, they say. The gas station was eventually given to Manvel.
The business takeaway was allegedly done through Ejmiatsin Cleaning company, which is owned by Manvel's wife Nazik, who is also charged with various felonies in Manvel's tax avoidance and embezzlement case.
The businessman has presented the ownership documents and launched a legal case to take the station back from Manvel.
Certain media outlets spread rumors that the resignation of Artsakh security official Vitaily Balasanyan (who recently called for Kocharyan to be freed and made anti-Pashinyan remarks) was allegedly mandated by the Armenian government in exchange for continuing to provide financial aid to Artsakh government.
Artsakh government has denied these rumors, saying there are no financial problems and the transaction are done through the regular routine.
Balasanyan, among several other former high ranking Artsakh officials, has recently launched a political initiative and there are rumors that he also plans to participate in the upcoming Artsakh presidential elections.
Artsakh government did a series of other high ranking job shuffling today.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163597 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos) --- http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/269772/ --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfLNpfOlP-A
IRS has accused a Roboserj outlet Analitik of spreading misinformation, after the latter claimed a politically motivated targeting by the taxing authorities. The activists claimed they were targeted after they wrote an article about the deputy chief of IRS.
IRS says that in January of 2019, before the said article was published, they found that the outlet owed them 365k. In February they contacted the outlet and asked for the money, but the outlet refused to pay. In June (presumably after the article was published by then), the IRS sent a request to tax collectors to get the money.
IRS also denies that the outlet's assets were frozen, because the money they owed wasn't big enough to allow IRS to freeze assets.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163659 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos)
The government recently had a choice of either raising everyone's pensions slightly, or to make significant gains for minimum pension earners. They opted for the latter, with double-digit increase.
Next year, they plan to raise everyone's pensions. To raise it by 10% they'll need 30bln, said the Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs. They don't know the exact amount yet. In 2018 they spent 218bln on pensions.
2018 vs 2017 the number of pension earners rose by 3,000.
Healthcare Minister Torosyan wants additional 45bln from the budget to make the general healthcare free for anyone under 18, instead of anyone under 7. The 2020 budget is supposed to give the healthcare ministry an additional 16bln, which he calls unprecedented, but he wants 45bln.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163647 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos)
Minister says they'll raise ambulance worker salaries next year with a 1bln dedicated budget. Last month the government gave them a free healthcare package.
Story Time: A new factory has begun producing various types of utilities used by disabled people. Items are designed and assembled in Armenia, and are sold mainly to hospitals, although recently they begun to sell abroad as well. They will soon enter the Russian market after getting a license. The factory will eventually have 200 workers.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163636 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos)
Yesterday, a passenger asked a minibus driver not to smoke on the wheel. The driver refused and eventually asked her to get out, after she insisted. The passenger asked the city to intervene. Today the municipality fired the rude driver.
It turns out the driver didn't even have a proper license to drive, for which he received a penalty. His boss also got a fine to allowing an unlicensed driver to get behind the wheel.
EAEU states may soon (2020) begin to pay pensions to immigrants who worked and paid taxes towards the pension fund. For example, an Armenian migrant could go to Russia, work there legally and pay taxes, then return to Armenia and receive a pension from the Russian government.
May-2019 vs May-2018 traffic in Armenian airports rose by 12% (up in Yerevan, down in Gyumri). 1H19 vs 1H18 traffic rose by 9% (total 1mln passengers).
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163615 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos)
A research was conducted regarding on what diasporan Armenians think about various topics. 94% believe the continuation of diasporan connections is very important. 85% say it's important to send support to Armenians in Middle East. 90% said Armenia itself plays an important role for diaspora. 73% have been to Armenia, 93% plan to visit.
Diasporans agreed that Armenian language, history and religion are important part of Armenian identity. 73% is not a member of an Armenian political organization, but most said they work with non-political organizations.
15% goes to church at least once a month. 70% believe the marriage ceremony should be in the church.
Tldr https://www.armeniandiasporasurvey.com/2018 --- Full https://massispost.com/2019/06/armenian-diaspora-opinion-survey-results-published/ --- Tldr in Armenian https://armenpress.am/arm/news/977978.html
Armenian UN delegate Moses Abelyan has received a promotion and was appointed as Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly
After some lobbying, Netherlands House of Representatives adopted a measure condemning Turkish president Erdogan for the comments he made towards the victims of Armenian Genocide. Earlier Erdogan portrayed the victims as bandits
Tourists: Let's go to Armenia and clean up their trash.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/163654 (this source is biased and is run by people affiliated with Jorge Sonos)
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bzhmmt/anticorruption_other_news_from_armenia_jun112019/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|