2019 September 17
Anti-Corruption & News - Sep/17/2019 :: Court keeps Kocharyan in jail -- Arguments - Confusion during verdict :: Manvel stays in jail :: frmr NSS boss Vanetsyan about his resignation :: NSS/Police boss selection process to change :: Drivers in Russia :: Mayor busted :: Post office busts :: ANCA լոբի
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.
Constitutional Court earlier struck down a law that regulates presidential immunity protections, stating that it wasn't written properly. The full verdict was released. It was interpreted in various ways. The verdict mentioned about prosecutors still being able to argue about immune person being detained if they provide evidence in court. That was my interpretation, and you can read it in a last week post.
Few days ago Kocharyan trial begun in the lower court. Prosecutors also presented a similar argument. They said Kocharyan should remain locked up because he isn't charged with doing something that was part of his duties, therefore immunity doesn't apply to him, and that the Constitutional Court's verdict isn't related to what's he is charged with.
Kocharyan insisted he should be set free.
Today the lower court sided with the prosecutors and March 1st victims. Kocharyan does not have to be free based on the Constitutional Court verdict.
Below is the video of the verdict moment when Kocharyan's supporters in the courtroom didn't understand what the verdict was, and they thought Rob is freed.
The cheers by Rob's supporters triggered a wave. Now anti-Rob crowd thinks the judge sided with Rob, and starts to badmouth the court. Meanwhile, Rob tells the crowd to calm down and wait for the verdict to be read fully. The judge finishes the verdict, siding with the prosecutors. Rob is disappointed. The anti-Rob crowd now cheers.
There was a similar atmosphere outside of courthouse. Rob's allies thought the court released him.
Moments later the protesters begun to cheer and dance when they learned the court actually rejected Kocharyan's petition.
Kocharyan's argument was that the Constitutional Court verdict means he can't be locked up. Prosecutors argued the Constitutional verdict didn't apply to what's Kocharyan is charged with. Since Kocharyan is charged with doing things outside of his immunity, he can still be locked up, argued prosecutors.
The judge sided with the prosecutors.
This means the trial involving Kocharyan and 3 others can continue with them being locked up. They are charged with breaking the constitutional order.
Kocharyan lawyer then asked the judge to free Kocharyan under bail or signature not to leave the country. Since Kocharyan had earlier voluntarily appeared for questioning/court, that means he is a low flight risk, says his lawyer.
Kocharyan then claimed to be poor, saying that if the judge allows him to be released on bail, he'll have to borrow the money from someone because his [Armenian] bank accounts are frozen.
March 1st victims argued against allowing Rob to be freed.
Prosecutors brought arguments against releasing Rob on bail or signature.
The judge has ended the session. She'll make a bail/signature verdict on September 20th.
Outside, before the verdict, a few anti-Rob protesters with loudspeakers were detained for not following police instructions.
Now-former NSS boss Arthur Vanetsyan commented his resignation. He denied rumors about getting cozy with the former regime. Said "no one dare to associate me with Mikael Minasyan" (Serj relative who is under investigation for appropriating strategically important structure). Says Minasyan has to carry responsibility.
Vanetsyan urged the former regime members not to cheer this breakup or take advantage of it, because his relations with the current government are still in a good standing. He had good relations with the PM, and it's up to Vanetsyan and the govt to decide on how to proceed in future. Quote...
"Նախկինների խանդավառությունը, որ նկատվում է երեկվանից, ուզում եմ ասել՝ մնան իրենց քաղաքական անցյալում և չփորձեն խառնվել իմ և գործող իշխանությունների ներկայիս հարաբերությունների մեջ: Այդ հարաբերությունները մենք գիտենք՝ ոնց են և ոնց կշարունակենք"
Said he has no immediate plans to join any political party and will focus on improving soccer. Vanetsyan remains the chief of HFF (soccer federation).
5 months ago Pashinyan argued against LHK/BHK proposal which would give Parliament more power over NSS (and police) by changing the boss selection process and to whom NSS reports directly. As an attempt to keep a full control over NSS nominations, Pashinyan used the excuse of not trying to "politicize" the NSS through turning it into yet another "ministry".
LHK continued to argue that PM's office had too much power.
Yesterday, QP went for a "compromise" by voting in favor of the compromise bill, says Pashinyan. The NSS will continue to report to PM office, but the NSS boss selection process is more open now, and the candidate has to go through the same procedure that is done for politicians, set by the Parliament. The bill also benefits the govt at a certain degree by giving it more flexibility.
The draft bill passed with 111-0-1 votes. LHK argued that the current law doesn't allow the govt to pick a trustworthy NSS chief candidate.
Currently, the law requires the NSS/police chief's candidate to be a member of a high ranking NSS board, and must be at least a Colonel. LHK argues this severely limits the "good choices", and since NSS is pretty much reporting to the govt, it should have similar hiring standards as the govt agencies or Parliament.
There are unconfirmed reports that the police chief Valeriy Osipyan has just decided to quit.
A while ago, Russian lawmakers passed a law about restricting commercial drivers licenses issued in other countries. It was something about whether the country had Russian as an "official" language at some capacity in the country where the license is issued. Armenian licenses didn't meet the criteria, so legally Armenian taxi/truck drivers lost the right to use Armenian license in Russia. Russians said it wasn't meant to directly target Armenia, even though Armenia was the only EAEU state to lose the right.
Armenian politicians argued that it's against EAEU rules which allows drivers from member states to work more freely in other states. Russian parliament promised to look into it. Today they begun a hearing to discuss the law and to possibly make amendments to it. It is proposed to authorize EAEU drivers, even if Russian isn't an official language in their states.
An Armenian delegation went to Russia to discuss this and other issues such as nuclear plant servicing, land trade routes, etc.
The court rejected Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan's petition to be released from jail due to bad health. He's locked up and charged with embezzlement and tax evasion.
Mayor of Talvorik, Armavir is charged with felony abuse of power and embezzlement. Police says he sold a 15.4mln worth land for only 2.5mln. The sales deal stated that part of whatever the buyer digs out of the land, would be given to the mayor. Buyer gave the mayor some metal pipes that they dug out of the land. The mayor, instead of registering the pipes as a state property, decided to steal them.
Lori police has busted Haypost workers who skimmed a few % from pension payments to seniors. They also paid out funds to people who weren't supposed to receive money. Felony case is launched.
ANCA's Australian branch earlier lobbied for city of Ryde to accept Artsakh capital Stepanakert as a sister city. It was ratified. Today, Stepanakert ratified the declaration as well. Stepanakert welcomed the efforts to make Artsakh more internationally recognized.
ANCA has published a declassified 2005/2012 CIA report showing that CIA viewed Artsakh as an "area of Armenians", and how the CIA commented about Armenians being attacked in Azerbaijan.
52KG boxer Arthur Hovhanisyan proceeds to world championship's quarterfinals after defeating Azeri Massoud Youssifzadeh.
A video of an orangutan sawing wood by watching a fake orangutan do it
Edit - some typos and one sentence removed about Rob's supporters cheering.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/d5ldpu/anticorruption_news_sep172019_court_keeps/
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|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
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