2019 September 19
Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Sep/19/19 :: Law enforcement :: Justice Min. vs Judges :: Parliament official charged -- Judge's relative :: Prison boss :: Environmentalists vs Tsarukyan :: Govt to close wasteful water wells :: Artsakh :: Govt issues funds :: Protest :: Polls :: more inside...
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.
GET HYPED, BOYS AND GIRLS! The law enforcement drama is getting juicier.
In case you've missed it, the law enforcement agencies are "activating" again. Several high profile layoffs took place in administrations. Charges were pressed against several former and current high profile figures (see previous posts).
Today, PM appointed interim NSS/Police bosses. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/988677.html
Acting police chief Arman Sargsyan says soon there will be institutional changes in the police. Policemen should be more educated, know the law and their rights, etc. https://youtu.be/35Ux_da8sew
FactorTV media says they have info that NSS former boss Arthur Vanetsyan held a meeting with BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan in Gagik's house.
Vanetsyan denied having a meeting. Said he won't join BHK or other parties. He'll continue to serve as HFF boss. He's currently vacationing in Georgia.
The Justice Department has (or had) launched an administrative investigation against more than 10 judges. Two of the judges had their files sent to the Supreme Court Council (not Constitutional Court), which is tasked with punishing or defending judges.
Artsakh president Bako Sahakyan has been questioned as a witness as part of March 1st investigation.
Former Vanadzor prison chief was earlier accused of taking a bribe from inmates to keep the cell doors open and close the eye on contraband. He's been arrested.
The Head of the Parliamentary Department of Administrative and Economic Affairs has been arrested under the suspicion of embezzlement. He is the godchild of Constitutional Court chief Hrayr Tovmasyan. Investigators says the official was tasked with getting memorial medals made of silver, but deliberately purhcased copper ones to embezzle 9.4mln.
The alleged incident happened in 2016. It was reported to the authorities in June-2019 by his colleague. Apartments of several department staff members were searched.
Investigators say the suspect organized an auction to get silver medals and chose his friend's jewelry shop. He paid above the market value to obtain items that weren't allowed under the law. The end product wasn't silver. The funds were embezzled.
Parliament speaker Mirzoyan says those ongoing investigation and the arrest are unrelated to the suspect's godfather Hrayr Tovmasyan's hearings in the Parliament. Tovmasyan is accused of violating Constitutional Court rules by ignoring a fellow judge's petition.
Update: During the 2008 political unrest, Kocharyan regime arrested a prosecutor-turned-critic Gagik Jhangiryan. He was accused by the police of assault during the arrest, and sentenced to 3 years in jail. The Appeals Court sided with prosecutors in 2009. Recently, the Cassations Court overturned his conviction.
The state prosecutors didn't object to the verdict.
PM's spokesman says this was an important event and hopes to see it continue this way. "The govt is making decisive moves to establish rule of law." Spokesman accused the former regime and the courts "attached to it" as being unfair in past.
He said PM Pashinyan is hesitant to challenge the verdict that arrested himself for the alleged hooliganism during the 2008 events, because he doesn't want that to be viewed as a pressure or a message to others. "Pashinyan is waiting for a precedence, for the right moment. He could possibly join others to challenge their convictions at a later time."
BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan earlier joined Amulsar environmental activists and demanded Lydian mine to remain shut. He said if people have a problem with his own gold mine, he would shut it down.
Today, environmental activists signed a petition demanding Tsarukyan to shut down the construction of his new AraratCement cement factory in Kapan, citing environmental issues and company's lack of willingness to speak with the locals. They want the factory to be built further away, and to have more surrounding trees.
Puts down the phone. Lights up a banned Cuban cigar. Reads the paragraph again. Picks up the phone and continues...
Pashinyan and Defense Ministry announced that Armenia will hold the largest military drill in its modern history between September 24 - October 5. Military aged men in certain structures, that aren't necessarily part of the army, will be involved as well. There will be a simulation of emergency situation and a draft.
This comes amid an increasing threats by Caucasian Albania to launch a war against Armenia. Yesterday their Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov threatened with a war "soon".
Rob's 168jam media and the Azeri media often cite a Russian analyst Stanislav Tarasov. Earlier this year he claimed that Pashinyan has plans to give several Artsakh regions to Paytakaran by June-2019. 😞
Govt approved an Education Ministry proposal. By 2024, 70%-90% of kids aged 3-6 will be in a preschools.
Numerous preschools were opened in provinces this year. Govt hopes if kids are away, the parents would also be able to work.
Govt gave SOC auditors 11.5mln. They transferred to a bigger building, will obtain more equipment, register properties. SOC audits institutes that are fully or partially funded by the taxpayer.
Govt gave another 168mln to solve water delivery problems in provinces. 8bln is proposed for next year. Some settlements don't have a proper drinking or irrigation system.
Govt gave 38mln to fund vacations and salary bonuses for judges. (BRIBE?)
Govt gave 9.4mln to a 2016 battle hero Hayk Sekhilyan so he can travel to Germany for medical care. The man earlier held protests complaining about lack of support.
Govt earlier approved a package to give 30mln to families of each of March 1st victims who were killed.
Today, a group of mothers whose soldier sons died during various times and conditions on front-lines, gathered on front of Govt building and demanded a similar compensation. They threatened to hold a sit-in protest if the Govt doesn't grant them 30mln.
Pashinyan came to meet them. He said his administration earlier made a decision to change the rules and use the 1k AMD military fund to aid soldiers/families who suffered during a time frame that wasn't being compensated for, under the old rules.
The eligibility period was moved back to cover soldiers who suffered since 2014, instead of 2017. This ended up covering 2016 battles participants too. Then they made a decision to widen the window again to compensate those who suffered after 2008. Pashinyan said that's all they can do for now, and that it's a continuous process, and that those who aren't covered shouldn't feel offended. He apologized to the mothers that their problems haven't been solved for such a long time.
A mother was complaining that the 1k military fund only compensates if the soldier died from an enemy fire. Pashinyan later responded saying there is a draft bill in circulation that will provide aid not only to families of soldiers who died on front lines, but those who died in other locations too.
Related to topic http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/273159/
Related to topic: https://youtu.be/nNEeuGNQvDY
One of the protest participants was Manvel "Tushonka" Grigoryan's aide. Visibly annoyed Pashinyan criticized the aide for complicity and for not distributing Manvel's stolen gold and property to soldiers' mothers. "ինչի՞ չեք բաժանել, ի՞նչ եք եկել հիմա ինձնից ուզում։" The man asked if he can respond but Pashinyan said "no, not you" and left.
Govt will dedicate funds to throttle 97 and shut down 8 water wells in Ararat Valley.
Nature Protection minister says this will save 30mln m3 fresh water from being wasted. Earlier they fixed a few rogue wells that were wasting 880 liter/second.
This is part of the fight against the damages done by the illegal fishing industry. For years, this industry was using 1.6x more water than was being naturally generated. This resulted in a sharp drop in artesian water pressure. This resulted in major water issues across the board.
Ministry identified 105 deep wells that need to be throttled and some of them to be closed. As of right now, the water levels are stable. It's expected to rise after these improvements.
QP has joined BHK in the proposal to create a BHK-led Parliamentary group of 18 MPs to examine the Amulsar issue.
Update: Govt approved the proposal to aid the sheep and goat breeding business in Armenia. Low interest loans, subsidies, creation of more puffy and juicy breeds. Sheep meet price has risen and Armenia has a big potential to export more. YUM!
APR Group pollster held a survey among 1,200 Armenians.
20% said Armenia should integrate with Russian EAEU (support is on decline since 2016 due to Russian weapon sales to Azerbaijan after April battles)
30% say it should integrate with EU (support jumped in 2016 then stabilized)
30% said it should integrate with both.
6% said it shouldn't integrate in them.
Men are about equally likely to support EU and EAEU. Women are twice more likely to support EU.
Rich support EU. Poor support EAEU.
EU supporters prefer alternative media sources and internet. EAEU supporters prefer formal sources.
Russian nuclear envoy audited Metsamor NPP and said it can safely operate for another 7 years due to renovations. 5,000 pieces of equipment were examined. Renovations resulted in 15% energy production efficiency boost.
Boeing jetmaker's representative visited Armenia. Met Pashinyan. Spoke about possible business and cooperation.
Update: The govt begun viewing the possibility of opening an embassy in Israel earlier this year. Today they announced new embassies in Tel-Aviv, Israel and Ethiopia. Govt says in recent years Armenia and Israel increased their cooperation, and that Israel plays a big role in Middle East affairs, which affects Caucasus.
Soccer! Armenia moves up 2 positions (aka տեղից ժաժ եկավ).
Belgium 1, Iran 23, Ukraine 25, Turkey 36, Russia 42, Georgia 91, Armenia 96, Aliyev Khanate 109.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/d6j987/anticorruption_news_summary_sep1919_law/
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