2019 October 15

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News Oct/15/2019 :: Major news about Armenian Constitution, Venice Commission on Early Retirement for CC, Istanbul Convention & gays/transgenders :: Turkey under fire for Syria :: 2 officials fired :: NSS busts :: Moldova's Genocide bill :: Several court trials :: Paplavok :: more
by ar_david_hh

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.


Grandmaster Karen Grigoryan wins Portuguese Marques de Pombal chess tournament.

https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2019/10/15/Chess-Karen-Grigoryan/2181729

All-Armenia charity foundation holds a telethon every Thanksgiving. they have a new website where you can see how your generous donations helped the locals in provinces across Armenia.

www.himnadram.org

Russia has donated a trailer-truck turned into a clinic. It'll travel around Armenia and provide medical services to population.

https://www.vesti.ru/videos/show/vid/814091/

http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/274017

Former SOC chief Davit Sanasaryan says:

He was driving when a child jumped from a sidewalk and bumped on his car from the side. He took the child and the parent to a hospital where they did tests which revealed the child was OK. The next day the parent called and asked to help with more medical tests, they did.

The parent then allegedly begun demanding 300k or else she would tell the public the accident was Sanasaryan's fault. Sanasaryan says he'll contact the police to report an extortion, but hasn't done so. The police is investigating the story.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171635

23 school kids (mostly elementary) got a food poisoning after eating junk food from the school buffet. They were transported to a hospital. Food Safety department has taken samples from pizzas, and identified the supplier.

Police launched a felony case that could land someone in prison for up to 10 years.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171652

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171662

NSS has busted a bribery attempt during a sting operation.

The director of the welfare department's medical center took bribes from dozens of citizens to falsify their medical records to claim their are disabled, with the purpose of helping them qualify for state aid.

Felony case is launched. The suspect has admitted the guilt and is told not to leave the country.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171645

https://youtu.be/ATpzS3-rSrQ

Georgia's new PM Gakharia visited Armenia, met Pashinyan, visited Genocide Memorial, exchanged nice words, spoke about increasing cooperation in international affairs and trade, and left.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171655

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171656

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171670

Ilham Aliyev has entered the second stage of grievance inflicted by the Armenian national hero Garegin Nzhdeh (GN).

During a meeting with Erdogan, he complained about GN's military actions which led to the liberation of southern Zangezur region. Aliyev was hoping to see Turkey and Azerbaijan connected through a land.

Erdogan: we'll do our best to ensure "territorial integrity of Azerbaijan"

Last week Aliyev was down by Pashinyan during a CIS economic forum, after complaining about "nazi" GN's statue in Armenia.

(Share your memes in /r/arMEMEia)

http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/274039

UEFA soccer authority is considering sanctions against the Turkish team. They could cancel the 2020 UEFA finale in Istanbul at the request of Italy.

Turkey invaded Syria and several European states expressed criticism. After scoring goals against some nations including those who criticized Turkey, Turkish players displayed military salutes. Not everyone liked the political move.

An ethnic Turkish player was banned from a Germany team after making militaristic remarks.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/171667

The Azeri embassy in Russia sent a note of protest to Russian MFA after a high ranking Russian parliament member Konstantin Zatulin visited Artsakh. Azeri side wants to know why he "supports" the "separatists" and who funded the visit.

http://azeridaily.com/politics/51421

The Moldovan Parliament will discuss a bill about recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

It'll be introduced by an ethnic Armenian MP Gaik Vartanean from the ruling party. The memo calls for Moldova to join EU and Russia in recognizing the genocide.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991725.html

Back to Armenia...

Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan will remain in jail. He made another failed attempt to post bail and get out.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991735.html

4 activists earlier threw eggs at the Roboserj media outlet Hayeli, accusing it of writing a pro-Azerbaijan article. They said the outlet shouldn't be allowed to operate in Armenia.

The police has charged the 4 with penal code 164.1, "preventing journalists from doing their job or forcing them not to do their job". If found guilty the penalty is 200x-400x the minimum wage.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171623

You may know by now that Roboserj media outlets love spreading misinformation about the 1st lady Anna Hakobyan.

Another jet flight story was published, this time by Rob's 168am outlet, regarding Hakobyan's flight to Lebanon in July. The outlet claimed she flew business class.

The airline company denied the rumors.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171640

Not everyone likes to fly with economy class, however.

https://news.am/arm/news/533234.html

Kocharyan & Co trial in the lower court was today. Judge Anna Danibekyan postponed it until November 5th because Kocharyan is in the hospital after a surgery that removed a mass, which turned out to be non-cancerous.

Another co-defendant Seyran Ohanyan was allowed to exit the country for medical reasons. He'll be back the day before the trial.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171642

Earlier this year Kocharyan's 5TV network director Armen Tavadyan, and his fellows, were seen assaulting anti-Kocharyan activist Vardges Gaspari with a bottle inside a court building, during a Kocharyan trial, giving Gaspari a black eye. Tavadyan was charged with assault.

Today he didn't appear in court. Defendant claimed that his lawyer and him were busy. His lawyer is also Kocharyan's lawyer, so the lawyer had to be present in Kocharyan trial. Can't be in two places simultaneously.

Prosecutor and Gaspari's lawyer countered this explanation, saying the trials did not overlap so the defendant's lawyer could have come, and that the defendant was not present today because he went to Kocharyan trial to cheer him, which makes his absence non-excusable. Prosecutor asked the judge to issue an order to bring Tavadyan to court.

The judge sided with the defendant and decided to kindly inform him to appear in court on November 13th.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171648

Kocharyan's bodyguard beat up then killed a man in Paplavok restaurant in 2001, after the victim greeted Kocharyan with "Privet Rob". A British tourist recently came forward again and said that at the time the court ignored his witness testimony. The case was re-opened recently.

Today, the investigators called for Aghamal Harutyunyan, the perpetrator who received just a 1-year probation, to visit a station for a new interrogation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/171332

Constitutional Court (CC) earlier made an unprecedented decision to ask ECHR and Venice Committee to interpret whether law 300.1 is Constitutional or not. That's the law that Kocharyan is charged with in regards to overthrowing Constitutional Order. Although it's not illegal to ask foreign bodies for advice, some have accused CC of not doing its job by choosing that route. CC itself makes the final decision whether 300.1 is valid. That verdict is yet to come.

The ECHR's 17 judges have begun deliberating whether 300.1 is Constitutional. The Parliament of Armenia, Kocharyan and other parties have about 1 month to submit their opinions.

ECHR will discuss whether 300.1 meets the Article 7 requirements. In basic terms, this is what Article 7 says:

1A. If you do something legal (in Armenia and in the eye of the international law) and later on that act becomes illegal, you are not guilty.

1B. If you do something illegal and the punishment is X years at the time, but later that law is changed and the punishment becomes 10X, you can only serve X years.

   If you f**ked up really bad and the international community agrees that you goofed hard, the ECHR will not use 1A and 1B to save your ass.

(Original: This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations.)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/17164

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_7_of_the_European_Convention_on_Human_Rights

The Venice Commission has an opinion about various upcoming legal changes in Armenia. One of these changes was widely criticized by Roboserj circles.

The commission has an overall positive opinion on the proposed judicial reforms.

It notes that the changes went through public discussions in which NGOs were satisfied.

It notes that limiting judges' age is something Armenia should decide based on its demographics and conditions, and that European laws do not prohibit it from happening in Armenia.

It notes that Commission has no objections about implementing a pension system for Construction Court (CC) judges to retire early, as long as it's voluntary.

Context :

A new Constitution was passed by HHK and went into effect in 2018. It envisioned that old CC members would be able to remain in court for life, while the judges elected after 2018 would have a much shorter term limit.

Before the new Construction went into effect, HHK organized a rushed session to place its MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as the chief of CC, so he could serve a life term. This received criticism from QP, which found it unfair that some get to stay for life while others don't. QP accused HHK of weaponizing the CC.

QP then decided to give the old CC members the ability to voluntarily retire sooner than their (now-repealed) lifetime term ends, so a court member wouldn't feel obligated to stay in the court "for life" for the sake of getting paid. It was a "compromise" offer. Roboserj circles called this an unlawful pressure on CC.

The Venice Commission disagrees. They found no objections with the early retirement option, as long as it's voluntary.

Commission notes that the govt had a "responsible" and "praise-worthy" approach while writing the changes.

Cries in Arpine Hovhanisyan https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991648.html

https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2019/10/15/Venice-Commission-judicial-reforms-Justice-Ministry/2181517

Yesterday the CC court members outright refused to accept the petition that urged them to discuss the removal of chief Hrayr Tovmasyan. CC received criticism for not even taking the case and deliberating on its details.

QP MP: the CC made a biased decision. If they found the 4 reasons (why Tovmasyan should be impeached) were weak, they should have accepted the case and organized a hearing, during which the Parliament was supposed to send delegates to provide info and argue their case. The CC should not have abruptly blocked the case.

https://factor.am/191756.html

https://youtu.be/K9gIy4r66N0

QP MP Hrachya Hakobyan: CC doesn't care about the public. The public can decide when Tovmasyan decides to resign. No one is saying Tovmasyan should be required to resign, but the public could create a situation which could convince Tovmasyan to resign. It's possible that the public could decide to block the Court building, I don't rule out, but that's not the desired solution.

https://factor.am/191721.html

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tcNeMNHQKUg

HHK Shawarmazanov: CC didn't bow to Pashinyan.

https://youtu.be/ry75gRuRWWk?t=25

BHK MP Bagratyan: the institute of Constitutional Court needs to be dissolved and merged with Cassations Court. Armenia has too many courts

Lower court - Appeals court - Cassations court - Constitutional court (the higher, the more bribe you would pay)

https://factor.am/191718.html

Venice Commission also discussed the anti domestic violence "Istanbul Convention" and its compatibility with the Armenian Constitution and traditions.

It found that it's Constitutional.

It found that it's Constitutional.

It found that Armenia doesn't have to adopt it.

It found that Armenia doesn't have to adopt it.

It found that there is no requirement to introduce extra genders.

It found that there is no requirement to introduce extra genders.

It found that the gender-related discrimination is already covered by the existing Armenian Constitution. Nothing extra that would require you to cut off your dick.

It found that the gender-related discrimination is already covered by the existing Armenian Constitution. Nothing extra that would require you to cut off your dick.

It found that the Convention does not change the family composition. Family stays the same. It also found that the Convention does not encourage gay relationships.

It found that the Convention does not change the family composition. Family stays the same. It also found that the Convention does not encourage gay relationships.

It found that the Convention does not contradict Armenia's existing values of marriage being between man and woman. You can keep your wife.

It found that the Convention does not contradict Armenia's existing values of marriage being between man and woman. You can keep your wife.

It found that the Convention does not require Armenia to recognize same-sex marriages. The only mention of marriage is when it comes to prohibiting a forced marriage.

It found that the Convention does not require Armenia to recognize same-sex marriages. The only mention of marriage is when it comes to prohibiting a forced marriage.

It found that the Contention does not require Armenia to implement education programs to teach everyone how good or important the gays marriage is.

It found that the Contention does not require Armenia to implement education programs to teach everyone how good or important the gays marriage is.

It found that the Convention, under some circumstances, encourages doctors to report domestic abuse to law enforcement even if the patient thinks there is a confidentiality clause between them and the hospital.

It found that the Convention, under some circumstances, encourages doctors to report domestic abuse to law enforcement even if the patient thinks there is a confidentiality clause between them and the hospital.

For more details, read the "TrannyHandbook.pdf" below

http://arka.am/en/news/politics/venice_commission_ratification_of_istanbul_convention_by_armenia_would_greatly_benefit_victims_of_do/

The upcoming institutional reforms in justice system will introduce asset forfeiture laws. Govt held a meeting with UN.

In order not to target ordinary people, and to focus on public officials and large scale fraud, the minimum money in question has to be above 50mln for assets to be eligible for confiscation. It'll happen through a court permission.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/108668

In May, 2019 the govt launched an online portal for whistle-blowers to anonymously report corruption and crime.

146 reports so far. 26% of the reports ended up revealing corruption. 5 cases have advanced into the stage of officials being charged with corruption. List in the article.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991675.html

Pashinyan has fired the chief of Secret Service (part of NSS, protects officials) Grigori Hayrapetov, who was appointed by Pashinyan in June-2018. Hayrapetov was a high ranking insider prior to his appointment.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/171679

Pashinyan has fired the deputy Healthcare Minister Hovhannes Harutyunyan who was appointed few months ago

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/171669

Turkish military assault on Syrian Kurdistan continues. UN has counted 70,000 refugee children. 4 kids are dead and 9 wounded.

Several Armenian families left north-western and north-central towns and evacuated to south. Majority of 3,000 Armenians living in the war zone are located in north-east, and are currently safe.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171622

Trump administration has sanctioned Turkish officials (defense ministry and few others) for placing civilians at risk and making it possible for ISIS prisoners to escape from the local prisons. The sanctions will freeze their assets and prevent US citizens and firms from doing business with them.

The US will send a delegation to Turkey to discuss the situation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991642.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991668.html

VP Mike Pence: today's sanctions are just the beginning

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991656.html

The US is considering to remove its 50 nuclear weapons from Turkey.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991662.html

Pentagon: despite a warning from US and others, Turkey decided to invade Syria and caused a humanitarian crisis, as well as hindered the fight against ISIS. It's unacceptable.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991651.html

Turkey vowed to continue the invasion, saying the sanctions don't mean anything.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991697.html

UK is reviewing its military supplies contracts with Turkey. They sold $1.4bln worth weapons in past 5 years.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991654.html

Spain will not allow new military contracts with Turkey that can be used in Syrian war.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991728.html

China wants Turkey to end the invasion. They urged Erdogan to cooperate with the international community instead of unilateral action.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991674.html

US Defense Department: we will pressure NATO to have them pressure Turkey

https://factor.am/191825.html

Turkish media: Kurds attacked Turkish military unit, killing 1 and wounding 8. Kurds suffered 15 deaths.

https://factor.am/191881.html

Syrian army has captured the city of Manbij located in north-west. a 1,000m2 area was captured, including an airfield, hydro plant and bridges.

https://factor.am/191890.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-security-turkey-usa/trump-sanctions-fail-to-slow-turkey-assault-syrian-troops-move-on-manbij-idUSKBN1WU1D8

Trump administration will double the tariffs on steel imported from Turkey, making it 50%. An ongoing $100bln trade deal has been canceled between the governments. This is in addition to sanctioning several high ranking Turkish officials and their assets.

https://factor.am/191626.html


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/diczqy/anticorruption_news_oct152019_major_news_about/


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