2019 March 20
Anti-Corruption Mar/20/2019: 53x --- former deputy police chief charged with endangering public --- directors charged --- Manvel's 50/50 --- SOC busts penitentiary --- smear campaign against police chief --- more...
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
General prosecutor's office releases its own anti-coeruption fight details.
2018 vs 2017 saw a 53x rise in corruption uncovering, totaling 30.1bln. Voluntary returns of stolen funds rose 18x. More stats in the link...
Investigation has concluded that the former deputy police chief Levon Yeranosyan abused his powers and broke the law by firing 9 smoke/light/sound grenades, without having a training or license, towards the protesters during the Velvet Revolution of 2018, which resulted in two dozen people, including 6 officers, receiving injuries.
He is charged with 2 felony counts. The case is sent to court.
6 felony charges are pressed against the former directors and workers of a gov-funded school and women's health center in Artik. They are accused of falsifying employment records to embezzle salaries, paying bribes to avoid audits, causing a damage to state worth dozens of millions. Some of the abuse begun as early as 1996.
Minister of Territorial Development says the residents of some villages and cities, who are currently protesting against mayors (mainly HHK), shouldn't expect the government to abuse their duties and remove the mayors as a political vendetta. The Ministry has proposed an amendment to the law which will allow residents to legally recall mayors through petitions.
The State Oversight Committee has busted employee(s) of a penitentiary institute for abusing their powers, which resulted in a construction contractor doing the work only partially, receiving the funds fully, then having the penitentiary workers stamp the work as being done fully.
Roboserj media outlet Politik.am, which has a record of publishing stories containing lies about Pashinyan allies, has now launched a smear campaign against the police chief Valeriy Osipyan.
The outlet's chief editor recently spread rumors about Osipyan. The latter contacted the editor and notified him that the information on his website is false, and asked for a correction. The editor refused to correct it, using the "anonymous sources, and not our opinion" claim.
After the incident became public, many social media users apparently expressed dissatisfaction with the outlet. The editor, without evidence, suggests that these social media users were directly sent by the police chief himself, to make threats against the editor's family.
The police has suggested the editor to write a formal police report about these social media users, but apparently he refused, raising the question whether the threat claims by him were fabricated.
The police chief accuses the editor of deliberately misleading the public to pretend to be a victim. This is part of a larger trend by the Kocharyan circles, which are trying to convince the EU that Pashinyan is unfairly going after them.
As a reminder, Robert Kocharyan is under a detention and is charged with toppling the constitutional order, which led to the military being involved in politics, and a dozen people being murdered on March 1st, 2008.
Kotayk governor's office has notified Abovyan municipality that 4 land pieces placed for auction on March 7th were done against the law, because the lands contain gas and water pipelines. The municipality claims their records didn't show that. The lands have been removed from the auction list.
The governor has sent the information to prosecutors to examine a possible malice.
Minister of Territorial Development says they have discovered dozens of instances of Manvel Grigoryan embezzling parts of lands belonging to others. This is part of the practice of the "50/50" scheme, which former officials enforced on others after becoming public officials. Several land owners weren't even aware that part of their lands were illegally placed for an auction. The Ministry is examining 10 locations. The Ministry is making all auctions transparent by listing them on a website.
Education Minister Araik Harutyunyan says the hotline complaints about schools collecting off-record funds (roof and repairs) have dramatically decreased.
Artsakh Republic is officially against the Madrid Principles.
Armenian FM won't comment on that, and has announced that Armenia and Artsakh can strike preemptively if necessary. The FM made the comments after criticizing Azerbaijan for the recent violation of peace, which involved 9 mortar shellings by Azeris.
This comes after a prolonged relatively calm borders in Artsakh on 2018, which saw cease-fire violations drop by a third, and the number of fired bullets cut in half. Pashinyan and Aliyev are set to meet soon.
The UN has published the 2019 report on World Happiness index. Armenia moved up 13 positions. Finland #1, Azerbaijan 90, Armenia 116, Iran 117, Georgia 119.
As part of the proposed fight (possible ban) against essay sales on the internet, Education Ministry is advising Universities to reform the system and somewhat ease the burden on the students. Currently, many students prefer to pay 3k and buy the required lengthy essay. "It's better to have them write one page themselves than buy a 30 page work written by someone else."
Finance Ministry had earlier proposed raising administrative fees paid by money exchange centers by 60x. The justification was that they are currently paying 50k in fees which is too little, while some earn 30mln in pure revenue per year. New fees would become 3mln.
Some exchange workers complained that they make less than 30mln (they say average is 10mln) and won't be able to pay the new fees. The proposed amendments are being discussed with the exchange industry members now. A QP MP and an exchange business representative have suggested increasing the fees, but not by 60x.
It is not clear whether another taxation change, which would exempt anyone making less than 24mln from paying taxes, would apply to these businesses or not.
Agriculture Ministry will help farmers to fight against South-American moth, which begun to damage the yield since 2012. The measures are expected to reduce the tomato and similar product lossess by 80%.
The number of people who visited museums has increased by 121,000. This comes after the Education and Culture Ministries gave 3 free annual tickets to students, and other monthly benefits to senior citizens to improve their social lives. Record number of books were sold on 2018.
After PM Pashinyan threw a hissy fit at the poor conditions in Meghri customs duty entry point last year, the IRS had launched and now finished a renovation. No more stinky toilets or bad lighting. 🚽 The facility processes thousands of people and 200 commercial trucks every day.
The government will reject the proposition by BHK to only allow soldiers with at least 1 year of experience to be sent to front-lines. Defense Minister says the soldiers currently receive 5 months of appropriate training before being sent there, which is sufficient.
I know you miss Serj. Here is his latest mini-interview.
Gyumri mayor Balasanyan reports the progress on street repairs launched on 2018.
6 roads will be finished in several months, several more later this year. 11,500 new lights will be installed. Mayor says the small streets which aren't important hubs, are not a priority, in response to criticism by some residents.
Armenian athletes won 2 gold and 1 bronze medals in a summer Olympics for disabled, held in Abu Dhabi.
The shooting team won another Silver medal in the European championship
The president of Czech Republic has called Turkey an ISIS ally, and accused it of attacking Kurds, like ISIS does. (Erdogan's son was caught buying oil from ISIS few years ago).
He accused Erdogan of turning Turkey into a radical Islamic nation and moving it away from Ataturk's values.
The legislative of Italy's Lazio province, and the US State of Alabama, have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide. Alabama becomes the 49th US state to do so.
Two new settlements with 25 houses will be built in Artsakh's Qarvachar and nearby regions, which used to be controlled by Azerbaijan.
You aren't the only one to notice Ilham Aliyev attempting to mimic Pashinyan in any way possible.
Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b3i28j/anticorruption_mar202019_53x_former_deputy_police/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|