2019 October 1
Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Oct/1/2019 :: 2020 budget -- large increase in social services & infrastructure :: Money transfers & investment :: Mortgage boom :: Kocharyan trial :: Mayor busted :: EAEU trade summit :: Medals for Karabakh soldiers :: US Congressman in Karabakh :: Nature Ministry
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 Appeals Court judge has found that Kocharyan doesn't have the right to appeal last week's verdict that kept him to jail.
The reason is that in order for Kocharyan to be allowed to appeal the verdict, the law says that the punishment should have been altered/added/removed in order for Kocharyan to qualify for appeal. If the verdict keeps the earlier verdict in place, Kochrayan can't appeal.
Kochrayan's lawyer says even though the law says that, it shouldn't be interpreted directly due to other circumstances. He believes the Appeals Court made the wrong decision.
Context: That latest court trial was in lower court, and it was a special trial that was organized after the Constitutional Court recently ruled the law that protects presidents needs to be rewritten. Kocharyan was hoping that it would mean he couldn't be arrested pre-trial. The lower court, however, ruled that the the Constitutional's verdict doesn't affect Kocharyan's current status, and kept the earlier verdict unchanged.
Before these latest events, Kocharyan was sent to jail by the Appeals Court. He will challenge that verdict in the Cassations Court. That's the "main" one.
Jermuk mayor has been busted with falsifying papers in 2006, and rigging an auction to help a Parliament MP's family to appropriate a 486mln land for only 153mln.
Other Jermuk officials didn't do their duties, which allowed a construction firm to falsify contract docs to claim the job was done, while in reality it wasn't, causing a 1.5mln damage to the state.
A felony case is launched. Investigation continues.
Ararat governor Garik Sargsyan earlier terminated Norashen village mayor's duties. The mayor is angry and called it a political move. He gathered the supporters and went to governor's office to protest.
Today, counter protesters gathered consisted of those who supported the mayor's termination. They are saying that the now-former mayor is being aided by a "3rd party", and that some of his gathered allies aren't co-villagers.
The mayor's version of the story is that he was fired because he supported another QP candidate during last year's elections, and not Garik Sargsyan.
Governor Garik Sargsyan says the reason for termination is that the mayor didn't hold municipality board sessions for 6 months. Says he won't revise his decision.
The governor and mayor earlier met and discussed options: wait for next year elections, assign an acting mayor, etc. Apparently there was a municipality board vote regarding this but the mayor wasn't able to get 2/3rd of the votes to go for a deal.
Governor said the termination decision was reviewed and signed by the Minister of Territorial Management, and it was found to be legal.
Former mayor will soon hold protests outside of the government building in Yerevan. (that sidewalk should seriously be renamed to Protest Boulevard)
Day 2 of EAEU trade bloc meeting.
Vladimir Putin has arrived. (Some outlets were earlier Concerned that he wouldn't.)
Putin was greeted in the airport by the deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan.
Putin visits govt building.
Georgian journalist breaks through security and asks: "when will you follow the agreement and leave the (Ossethia/Abkhazia) occupied territories?"
Putin while walking away: "Russia always follows its obligations."
Outside of govt building a group of protesters held signs asking Putin to free political prisoners in Russia.
Recently, the Russian authorities fabricated felony cases against numerous opposition figures, prompting a public condemnation by popular Russian TV stars who usually remain neutral. The ruling party is anxious over losing seats in recent regional elections, and for low ratings.
EAEU conference begins.
Armenia Pashinyan: this is a good meeting. I like it. Let's discuss 19 topics. (His Russian is getting smoother. Medvedev needs to find a new hobbit to bully.)
Kazakh Tokayev: Thanks for the invite, dude. I see a new spark of life in people's eyes in Armenia. Yerevan is one of the most beautiful cities I've been to. Let's increase trade, by the way.
Armenia Pashinyan: yeah man. Let's cooperate on various topics. Thanks for balanced approach on Karabakh issue. Do you wanna visit Armenian again soon after this conference, so we can talk?
Kazakh Tokayev: yeah why not.
Belarus Kuklashenko: guys we gotta work with EU too. Some of our products are poorly recognized in EU countries.
Iran Rohani: we're ready to expand the gas and electricity trade, do road construction projects, and discuss Meghri power plant construction with our friend and neighbor Armenia.
Russia Putin: EAEU needs a single financial market to regulate banking and financial sector. Let's remove trade barriers. In 2025, let's have a unified gas and oil distribution network. EAEU needs a unified jobs database so people will know about vacant jobs in member countries.
Pashinyan: we've already spoken with Serbia about cooperating with EAEU. Currently we're negotiating with India, Egypt and Israel. People will welcome the bloc when they see that it benefits their lives and work prospects.
Pashinyan also spoke about trading gas with the currency of member stats. (It's something about Ruble devaluation raising prices if gas is traded in dollars, or something along the lines. Pashinyan has been pushing for this to happen since last year.)
Iran Rouhani: use our large territories as your trade route.
Tim Apple: we think you're gonna love the latest iPhone. Our most powerful iPhone to date.
Other things on the EAEU agenda: talk with non-member Moldova whose govt is divided whether Moldova should join EAEU, talk trade with China, etc.
Singapore and EAEU signed a free trade agreement.
Leaders went to TUMO edu-center to hear a lecture.
Он улетел, но обещал вернуться... EAEU leaders leave.
Tourism stats agency TourStats says Yerevan was the 3rd top destination for Russian tourists this Autumn. Minsk #1, Nur-Sultan #2.
Updated: Constitutional Court chief Tovmasyan used to be HHK's justice minister. His colleague, who is his godson, had applied a pressure on his subordinate notaries to falsify docs to embezzle property, said prosecutors. They've counted 127mln in damages so far. The godson is arrested.
Day X of military exercises. Armenian and Russian soldiers found and neutralized an enemy. Air defense is the focus. Practice shootings in Artsakh.
Artsakh president Bako Sahakyan has issued medals to 4 soldiers for neutralizing the recent Azeri infiltration attempt, and for shooting down the ORBITER drone.
US Congressman Frank Pallone visited Artsakh Republic and met president Sahakyan. Pallonee says his visit's goal is to show that Artsakh is an established and democratic country, and that this visit should accelerate Artsakh's cooperation with governments of other countries. They spoke about US humanitarian missions in Artsakh.
When you get a mortgage and buy a house directly from the builder, IRS deducts the mortgage servicing interest paid by you from your income taxes. (hopefully I got it right)
IRS says more people have begun to take mortgages. IRS refunded 5.5bln in 2019 so far. That's 65% more than in same period of 2018.
2015: 0.3bln refund
2016: 1.3bln refund
2017: 2.4bln refund
2018: 4.7bln refund
2019 Jan-Sep: 5.5bln refund
2018: 3600 such mortgage borrowers
Govt earlier decided to remove post office HayPost from the privatization list. It'll remain privately managed for another year until organizational questions are answered. Parliament is discussing it.
Yesterday Pyunik FC complained about FFA (Football Federation of Armenia - HFF ՀՖՖ) and threatened to exit the league unless federation reduces legionnaire regulations and makes other reforms.
Today Urartu FC (former Babants) says some problems need to be solved to preserve the national league in Armenia. The main problem, according to Urartu, and also raised by Pyunik, is that it's too easy to poach young players from other teams. There needs to be a fair compensation mechanism when a player is taken by a competitor.
A team recruits a youngster, trains, educates, who then easily exits and joins another club for a slightly higher salary. As of right now the transfer fee is a tiny $60/year (sixty dollars per year).
Heno "the permanently injured" Mkhitaryan is injured. He will skip the upcoming crucial Euro matches against Lichtenstein and Finland. Armenia still has a chance after defeating Bosnia.
Nature Protection agency recently found 46 violations. 108mln in damages. Dozens of fines issued.
Most cases were about illegal logging and transportation of illegally cut trees. 3 cases involving illegal fishing and fish export. 2 cases of air and water pollution. Some incidents involving companies not paying nature protection taxes.
2020 budget. 13% rise in revenue and 14% rise in expenditure. Deficit remains.
Military: Same 301bln.
Healthcare: Rise to 111bln, or 19bln higher than in 2019, or 27bln higher than in 2018.
Education: Rise to 163bln, or 15% higher than in 2019.
Social security: Rise to 489bln, or 10% higher than in 2019.
Apartment Construction Budget: A 40% rise. It'll solve Gyumri earthquake survivor problems.
Road Construction: Rise to 124.4bln, or 100% higher than in 2019.
Irrigation and Water Projects: Rise to 58.2bln, or 300% higher than in 2019.
Direct investments to Armenia are on the rise again, after falling in late 2018, says Central Bank.
$696.3mln as of Q3. Its 1.8% higher than Q2 and 2.8% higher than Q1.
Portfolio investments rose 52% in 19Q2 vs 18Q2. Capital transfers down 17%.
Q2vsQ1: an 83% rise in incoming personal transfers made by Armenian seasonal workers abroad.
The photo of the new beautiful Yezidi temple in Armenia
You have a choice to make. You can either spend your time watching large Latina butts on YouTube, or you can look at this beautiful endangered Armenian Leopard's butt that was captured on a hidden forest camera.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/dbz6bj/anticorruption_news_summary_oct12019_2020_budget/
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