2019 September 23
Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Sep/23/2019 :: Aid for new parents & families :: LA tour :: Justice & Healthcare :: PM on former regime; Amulsar; diaspora; elections; investments; ARF :: Pashinyan vs Vanetsyan - accusations & revelations :: March 1st :: Frmr Yerevan official busted :: Borders
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.
Armenia marked its 28th Independence anniversary on Saturday. A concert and festivities were organized in Gyumri. Successful self-made business owners were given awards as an encouragement.
President Sarkissian wants you to return to Armenia https://armenpress.am/arm/news/988916.html
President Sahakyan invited businesses to Artsakh https://armenpress.am/arm/news/988917.html
Utush Khmush in Gyumri https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQoGhTLBP60
Another video from Gyumri https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMlHO4exu2c
Trump, Putin, Xi and other world leaders congratulated Armenia. Putin spoke about the friendly relations with Russia, hopes to strengthen it through trade/politics/ humanitarian missions. Trump welcomed the close relations in US and the reforms initiated by Pashinyan, the anti-corruption fight, peaceful events of 2018, peace negotiations around Artsakh.
List of congrats https://armenpress.am/arm/news/988903.html
Arsenal also congratulated. COULD IT BE THEY MISS HENO ALREADY?
Supreme Court Council chief justice believes the justice system is more independent than ever and it's currently free from pressure. He doesn't believe that the felony case against judge Davit Grigoryan, who would later become the Kocharyan judge, is a pressure. He urged the judges to be careful and act within the law. (The Supreme Court Council earlier found the suspicions against judge Grigoryan to be warranted and non-political.)
Prosecutors and Ministry of Justice are working on a bill to introduce the practice of questioning people through a video conference call during investigations and trials. It'll be used in situations when the person is abroad and cannot appear in-person.
PM Pashinyan went to Los Angeles, California after the Independence Day festivities. He met LA mayor, Lt. Governor of California, various local parties, Congress members, dozens of thousands of gatherers, business circles, etc.
During the Q&A, he referred to Serj's family a "professional corrupt family" who was rejected by the public in 2018, and every day afterwards. He was asked to comment Serj's Independence Day message in which Serj accused certain people of creating division in Armenia, and to comment on Kocharyan's message in which Kocharyan said Armenia is about to lose what it has achieved through hard work.
Pashinyan responded asking whether Kocharyan obtained his millions through hard work too. "If they meant losing the millions they collected, I hope they're on the brink of losing it. Every last penny will be returned. What talent did Kocharyan use to earn those millions? Why aren't they earning more millions now? Are we the ones obstructing them?".
Video of speech https://youtu.be/TXCBaZdu9Dc?t=1
Pashinyan says the biggest issue around Amulsar is that people have already made up their minds without first getting the facts. Even if it turns out the mining won't harm the resources, some people still would never accept the mining. He suggests chasing the truth and "to be honest". There is no final decision yet on the mine's operations.
Pashinyan to diasporans: every Armenian should have an Armenian citizenship. You don't necessarily have to live 12 months of the year in Armenia. Have a home and a business there.
He called for 10 million Armenians to have their share in helping the science, economy, politics and culture in Armenia.
PM: Come get a citizenship and start investing!
Diasporans: որդեղա մեզի ըզում քցա էս գյադեն 🤔
PM thanked the Congress members and California officials for their continued support towards Armenia, and for helping to organize his visit. He thanked LA for recognizing the Artsakh Republic.
PM met ARF's US branch and said that if Armenia's ARF wants to improve their image, they should re-evaluate the activities they've done in the recent times. ARF's Armenia branch responded saying they don't have an image problem.
PM says there are organizational, financial and security problems with allowing diaspora Armenians to participate in elections. With so many Armenians abroad, it would be hard to open and monitor stations in every part of the world where Armenians live. It would be unfair to hold elections in one city but not the other.
He's also against the part of the Constitution which requires all govt members to have only Armenian passports, and to live in Armenia for at least 4 years prior to the appointment. Says it limits diaspora's capabilities.
(Only state officials, diplomats, military are allowed to vote remotely under the law.)
Pashinyan was asked to comment George Soros (GET YOUR PITCHFORKS). He says Soros wanted to meet him during Davos business conference but he didn't have time.
Says the former regime is keep attributing the 2018 revolution to Soros, but that's just a disrespect towards the general public by the "former regime which has found itself in the trash bin of history and should enjoy it because it's the best place for them."
Now-former Police and NSS bosses were fired for an unsatisfactory performance, they didn't quit, says Parliament speaker Mirzoyan.
Pashinyan sharply criticized Vanetsyan and accused him of unprofessional conduct for writing the ragequit message on the official NSS website while still being employed as a high ranking officer reporting to PM.
Vanetsyan fired back saying Pashinyan has never been an officer and doesn't have any clue about what officer's honor is, and that the time will tell who or what will end up in the history garbage.
QP leader Makunts says if Vanetsyan knows something Pashinyan doesn't, and it's not a state secret, then he should publicly disclose the information.
Earlier, PM office accused Vanetsyan of unprofessional conduct and said that Vanetsyan's message sounded as if someone from the former regime helped him with the writing.
Later, a photo begun to circulate showing Vanetsyan hanging out with a former official Ara Saghatelyan in Moscow. Vanetsyan says they're long time friends, and that everyone knows that. He didn't want to comment whether the photo is new or old.
Ով ում բարեկամն է։
Ara Saghatelyan is known as the PR manager for Mikael Minasyan, who is Serj's son-in-law, who is accused of appropriations. Vanetsyan quit around the time when Pashinyan announced that the investigators are onto Mikael Minasyan and his appropriations of a strategically important structure.
(Minasyan is the Roboserj media magnate whose newly created PanArm TV got a favorable deal with H1. We learned about this in the previous post.)
Saghatelyan's family owns www.panorama.am and its subsidiary www.aysor.am media outlets. 49% of Panorama's shares were given to another Roboserj media magnate Tavadyan, who also purchased Ararat TV (5th Channel).
(Tavadyan is also the person whose former employee exposed how they were paying "tough guys" to come and participate in pro-Kocharyan meetings.)
Update: Few months ago, Rob Kocharyan's supporters assaulted anti-Rob protester Vardges Gaspari outside of the court building for chanting Ռոբիկ սրիկա, Ռոբիկ մարդասպան (Crooked Rob, Murderer Rob). At the heat of a moment, Roboserj media magnate Tavadyan threw a water bottle at Gaspari's face causing a black eye. Gaspari was assaulted and pushed out. Police questioned Tavadyan.
That assault case is in court now. Tavadyan is charged with using an item as a weapon to case a bodily harm, while acting as a member of a group.
SIS boss Khachatryan wants you to get ready to receive some important news about the corruption busts.
[Whatever SIS reveals now is probably whatever Vanetsyan didn't want to "get involved" with.]
Former March 1st investigative team member and a current lawyer for March 1st victims Seda Safaryan says several oligarchs' bodyguards had testified how other bodyguards belonging to oligarch Ruben Hayrapetyan (former soccer boss) and Levon Sargsyan (Serj bro) received military uniforms, and later weapons, before the March 1st events. BHK's Tsarukyan was financially aiding army's movement from Artsakh to Yerevan, says Safaryan.
Prosecutors have a felony case against the former chief of Yerevan's Avan district's construction permit department. He is accused of requiring permit applicants to pay millions in bribes by wiring the money to a specific foundation between 2013-2014.
Looks like IRS has stopped issuing warnings to TV biz. The tax agency says they've launched a felony investigation against a popular (unnamed) show business personality for not paying 21mln in taxes for from the 384mln revenue they earned in 2017-2019.
Here are BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan's businesses.
Defense Ministry says Azeris launched a failed diversionary attack yesterday, which was recorded on cameras (no footage published). One Azeri soldier was killed. Azeris say the solder was "lost". The Red Cross is negotiating with both sides to extract the body from the field.
Two other Azeri soldiers died in non-combat circumstances in the past few days.
Defense Ministry has condemned the media outlet Hraparak for a "false story" and for "harming soldiers' reputations".
The outlet's anonymous sources provided an info according to which Pashinyan's son "few days ago had a fight with the unit soldiers" because he tried to "establish himself as the boss of the unit, just like his father does in Armenia".
The alleged incident, according to Hraparak source, happened with writer Zori Balayan's grandson who serves in the same unit.
Zori Balayan denied parts of the rumor. His grandson begun to serve with a half a year difference with Pashiyan's son, and has been in a hospital for the past 16 days for unrelated reason, and that if such a fight ever happened it would have to be a half a year old incident.
LHK will join QP and vote in favor of the the proposed resolution to urge Constitutional Court to terminate its chief Hrayr Tovmasyan, who is accused of violating court protocols by ignoring a judge's petition in regards to the recent Kocharyan hearing. BHK earlier said they'll wait until the topic hits the floor before making a decision.
Update: Parliament passed the govt bill to inject $117mln into economy by paying back some fees collected by IRS back to 2,800 businesses.
Update: Health Ministry earlier spoke about reforms in clinics to increase their roles as viable alternatives to hospitals for lesser serious issues.
As of right now, 13 clinics have implemented a registration system over the phone, removing the requirement to visit in-person. People were complaining about long lines in clinics. Non-emergency Patients will have to register before receiving care.
Parliamentarian committee earlier went to Russia to discuss several topics. They say the Russian lawmakers have agreed to solve the drivers license issue by the end of this year.
A law was passed in Russia prohibiting foreign drivers from using foreign licenses for business purposes unless their country met a certain Russian-language criteria. Armenia was the only one negatively impacted. Russians said it wasn't targeted towards Armenia and promised to look into it.
Another topic they discussed was a $260mln loan they borrowed from a Russian company in 2016 to finish the nuclear power plant renovations. $70mln still hasn't been paid yet, which jeopardizes the future renovation works. The electricity fees could go up next January, says the Parliamentary group.
Committee says Russian collages had no objections to discuss the problem.
Another topic was about CSTO members selling destructive weapons to Azerbaijan. They agreed to discuss this during a CSTO meeting in Armenia this year.
In July of this year, many parts of Armenia lost electricity for several hours. The examination revealed that a problem in Hrazdan power plant, caused by the lack of some equipment, triggered a safety mechanism that started the chain of shutting things down. The safety system did its job and no illegal modifications to the system were found. Improvement suggestions were sent to organizations in charge of electric networks.
Full Post-Mortem https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/169990
89KG Weightlifter Hakob Mkrtchyan is the world champion! He was able to list 375KG, plus your uncle after a New Year's dinner.
Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan: beginning January, patents will receive 300k instead of 50k for having the first child. Second child goes from 150k to 300k.
Aid given to working mothers to increase by 41% (25.5k/mo).
Preschools and schools will extend hours to allow the working parents to leave their kids for longer periods until they're picked up.
New families who have kids will receive a mortgage and down-payment aid.
Beginning 2021, govt plans to increase these "perks" to encourage 3 children in each family.
Photos of Yerevan from the bird's-eye view.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/d8bp7b/anticorruption_news_summary_sep232019_aid_for_new/
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