2019 September 25
Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Sep/25/19 :: March 1st - How former regime covered up - Details released - Suicides, Deaths & Murders :: Frmr Police boss charged :: Frmr Defense Ministry a suspect :: SOC vs Serj govt - Nature Protection :: 2 mayors busted :: Foreign affairs & Borders :: PM in NYC
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.
YOU WERE WARNED THAT THIS WINTER IS GOING TO BE HOT!
The SIS is pressing 3 felony charges against the former police chief Alik Sargsyan as part of the March 1st case. Other high ranking former HHK and Kocharyan officials are implicated. It's about a March 1st coverup. SIS released a lengthy report on who did what before/during/after March 1st.
After the March 1st events, Serj's aide and a deputy Justice Minster Gevorg Kostanyan (GK), with the help of deputy police chief Gevorg Mheryan (GM), colluded with Kocharyan and others to cover up the March 1st crimes done by the police, and the army's involvement. Being an international diplomats, they went to European institutes and used their positions to continue to cover up these crimes. Former police chief Alik Sargsyan (AS) was also involved. They used their powers to pressure some people to make favorable decisions for the regime.
In June-2008, GK and GM went to the police headquarters and gathered a meeting with AS and other high ranking officers. GK & GM presented the cops a document titled "Work plan, questions to be clarified". It had 25 questions that was asking the cops about the work done by them during March 1st. GK and GM forced the cops to write that all actions were legal, and to falsify the document's signature date. AS (at the time not the bigest boss but still a boss) and his subordinates complied.
Meanwhile, now-deceased police chief Hayk Harutyunayn (HH), his aide Alexander Afyan, high ranking officials Hayk Miltoyan and Hovhannes Tamamyan, several soldiers, colluded and falsified the information they had and the document's date, and provided the fake document to a Parliamentary committee that was tasked with examining March 1st.
This false doc was written well after March 1st 2008. The doc's date was falsified as if it was written in February 29. In this doc, cops claimed that they received info that the peaceful early-morning protesters near Opera building had weapons. This false info was used as a pretense to raid the protester tents. Some of these false reports were allegedly sent to police chief Hayk Harutyunyan (who in his own testimony later said that he was told the protesters had weapons). [See the article for full details on how they did it. Search for keyword "Վերը նշված գործողությունները դրսևորվել են հետևյալում". The European COurt for HUman Rights would later find these police actions illegal.]
When the cameras recorded how the army was illegally brought with army vehicles in March 1st, Gevorg Kostanyan took actions to cover it up. He and others falsified data to make it seem as if earlier a group of policemen went to army to provide various support to soldiers, and that apparently it was these policemen who came back to Yerevan in those army vehicles. Police chief Hayk Harutyunyan knowingly signed the false docs to confirm this fake info.
Gevorg Kostanyan (GK) and Gevorg Mehryan (GM) then pressured the Chief of Police Troops Headquarters Gegham Petrosyan to help cover up the fact that the army was involved. (Gegham Petrosyan was recently charged for a murder of a protester. He's the first person to be charged with a direct connection of a murder.)
GK and GM instructed Geghamyan and others to claim that the actions on the ground were done not by the army, but by the police forces. They were told to lie during interrogations in future. They held meetings with Geghamyan and spoke about the fact that the military bullet shells were found as evidence, and that they need to be falsified to show they were bullets shot by the police. Geghamyan was instructed to cooperate with the chief March 1st investigator Vahagn Harutyunayan to replace those shells. (Chief investigator Vahagan Harutynayn was charged with falsifying the bullet shell evidence last year. He is currently on the run.)
Geghamyan and investigator Harutyunyan met again and decided to hold target practice with police weapons, collect 1000 new bullet shells, use them to replace the evidence shells to cover up the fact that 1000 shells were fired by military weapons. Geghamyan instructed his subordinate Bagrat Khachatryan to handle the shooting practice. They went to Getazat village practice range and did a target practice, then collected the shells. The shells were given to SIS employee Armen Hakobyan who handed it over to bullet evidence analyst Arthur Hovhanisyan, who then - at the request of investigator Vahagn Harutyunyan - replaced the original shells with these fake ones. This falsified info was used as an evidence in December-2008 presented under Evidence-390.
Besides this shell falsification, former chief investigator Vahagn Harutyunyan met Geghamyan about other ways to cover up army involvement. Falsified witness testimony and false information about weapons with blank-bullets were used to cover up the fact that the military weapons were used to fire real bullets.
Former police boss Alik Sargsyan, as instructed by Gevorg Kostanyan, Kocharyan and others, colluded and helped to falsify March 1st data in regards to early morning raids. He also helped to falsify data to claim that 1404 of the bullets that were fired, were "blank", and were only meant to produce light and sound. Alik Sargsyan, at the request of Gevorg Kostanyan, also helped to cover up the army arrival by claiming those were police forces using army vehicles, and that they were asked to use army vehicles. Alik Sargsyan served as the police chief until 2011 and continued to cover up his and others' crimes.
End of SIS report. A felony case is launched against Alik Sargsyan. Read the article for full details.
Tag: March1st, Մարտի1
IN A WEIRD TURN OF EVENTS, Mher Grigoryan, mentioned above as one of the key witnesses and a high ranking police official who was pressured to collude with the Kocharyan regime, was murdered in 2009 near his house. The victim's father spoke with his son shortly before the murder. The victim allegedly told him that he has to give important files to Kocharyan soon. This "files" disappeared after his murder.
Mher Grigoryan joined the ranks of 4 other March 1st witnesses who died under various circumstances.
Yesterday, the former police chief Hayk Harutyunyan (HH), mentioned above as a key witness and possibly a suspect who colluded with Kocharyan regime on March 1st, shot himself in the head.
Roboserj outlet used an "anonymous source" to spread rumors that the victim was allegedly threatened by the general prosecutor (GP), and that immediately before the death he allegedly said he was forced to testify against Kocharyan. The sole witness who was in the house when HH died, has denied the connection between the suicide and him being allegedly threatened shortly before his death.
Today the (GP) condemned the outlets who spread the rumor, accusing them of writing an "ordered" misinformation. GP says two writers from those outlets were asked by the investigators to appear and explain what their source is and what they know as part of the ongoing suicide investigation. The writers went to the station. They rejected the offer by the investigators to video-tape their interview. They refused to say who their "anonymous source" is.
When the investigators confronted them with the fact that the witness denied any March 1st conversation prior to HH's death, the writers didn't comment, and said they simply wrote what their source has told them. They didn't reveal the "source".
The witness told the investigators s/he had no contact with these outlets, and that s/he wasn't the source. The witness expressed anger over the "false information published by the outlets." The outlets are Hayeli and ArmLur.
The source of the rumor responded, but this time with a different tone, to indirectly clarify that they don't say the incident was a murder. The outlet said that it was known that HH was depressed for a year and would spend long periods isolated in his house. The outlet stood by his writer.
PG says that HH, as a witness, was on the list of people GP and others wanted to question during the Kocharyan trial.
GP says there is a need to improve the witness protection institute. The current system doesn't work in practice. There is a draft bill to reform it.
GP says the former GP Aghvan Hovsepyan has recently been questioned as a witness in the March 1st case.
The Investigative Committee says they have enough evidence to press abuse of power charged against the former HHK Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan. The alleged incident took place in January of 2018 , when the Defense Ministry was distributing apartments to soldiers. The Minister bypassed the committee tasked with deciding who gets the apartments, and personally chose the owners of 29 apartments, which is illegal, say investigators. The felony case is sent to SIS because a high ranking officials is involved.
SOC says they uncovered a 3.3bln corruption case. In 2013, the govt created a foundation to help preserve ishkhan trout in Sevan lake, and solve other eco-problems.
This foundation, managed by the govt, created two firms which would breed fish and process it. Between 2012-2018 the govt spent 9bln on it.
SOC audited 2015-2018 years and found that 3.3bln was embezzled, unpaid, wasted through various machinations. See article for details. Felony case is launched.
SOC hired a firm to examine the effect of the corruption on trout population. Suggestions were sent to the Nature Protection Ministry.
NSS earlier said that former SOC boss Davit Sanasaryan abused his powers by interfering in medical purchase process by helping a specific company to win a contract. Investigative Service sent the case to Prosecutors.
Sanasaryan insisted he acted within his duties. He pointed out that SIS later found that there was a corruption in these medical deals, reflecting SOC findings. He claimed his intervention in medical auction process wasn't to help a specific company.
General Prosecutor says Sanasaryan recently sent a petition to Prosecutors asking to drop the case against him. He can't comment, it's still being reviewed, no decision yet.
Yerevan municipality will pay 132mln to Sanitek's workers so they can have their unpaid salaries. City denies wrongdoing, says Sanitek failed to pay its workers. Earlier the city cut funding from garbage collector Sanitek for not doing its duties. Sanitek didn't pay the salaries saying they didn't have money.
Police says they busted the mayors of Chambarak and Shoghakat for abusing their powers by helping one of the mayor's father to illegally do land exploitation and a 7.5mln damage to state between, 2017-2019. Felony case is launched.
Israel is to celebrate Jewish holidays soon. Their govt doesn't recommend Israelis to visit some countries during the festivities due to risk of Anti-Semitic hostility. Among those countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, etc.
Turkey to Israel: y u oppress Palestin? U bad.
Israel to Turkey: Y u oppress Kurd? U no say I oppress. U killed Armenian u hippokrat.
Turkey to Israel: go away u corrupt Baniamin Netanyaowo.
a few moments later...
Turkey to Egypt: u bad too. Y u kill my friend Muhammad Morsi from best organization "Muslim Brotherhood"?
Egypt to Turkey: excuze me sir, but y u support terrorist in Syria and "Muslim Brotherhud"? U lie to distract from ur problems. U hav 75,000 political and army prisoners . 😔
Artsakh army shut down an Azeri Orbiter-2 surveillance drone made in Israel.
Earlier, the Defense Ministries of Armenia and Lebanon met and agreed to cooperate on shutting down - as implied by the Lebanese official - Israeli made drones. It's probably unrelated to this story since this isn't the first time Armenia shuts down Azeri drones.
Day 2 of army practice. Multiple military corps conducted a training of cooperating with local govt agencies and receiving backup from volunteer Yerkrapah groups. The drafted recruits received equipment and medical exams.
NSS has stormed Gazprom's building to neutralize a terrorist hostage situation. The group, now neutralized thanks to your generous taxpayer money, also took control of a gas pipeline and an underground gas facility. No biggie. Russia has much money and can build a new one.
The training will last 7 days. NSS is hiring terrorists with at least 5 years of experience as a suicide bomber.
PM went to New York. He met Greek colleague. Spoke about cooperation. Asked Greece to ratify the EU-AM agreement. Greece thanked Armenia for the support when it comes to dealing with Turkey.
PM was asked to comment on Amulsar. He said the same thing as before. The govt doesn't have legal reasons to shut down the mining process, but that doesn't mean a reason won't appear tomorrow, and it doesn't mean a reason will appear tomorrow.
Q: Why build mines and not Silicone Valley in Armenia?
A: He's against a blanked demonization of the mining industry. The US was also built on mines before it had the money to reach the level of Silicone Valley. There is an accepted level of pollution, otherwise cars and all factories would need to be banned. The goal is to make sure the environmental impact by mines is within the limits.
Q: Why are there are no quick changes in Armenia after the revolution?
PM: the fight against anti corruption and shadowy economy has resulted in extra revenues for the state. The additional $125mln that we got in the 1H19 alone, allows us to do unprecedented amount of road construction. Last time such thing happened when Las Vegas playa Kirk Kirkorian donated $100mln.
PM then named names of former regime members who are either in jail or on the run or charged with crimes. The room burst in applauds and cheers. PM then listed salary and other changes since the revolution.
PM complained that there are lots of vacant jobs in Armenia, yet many people don't want to work so they won't lose the welfare benefits. Recently they begun to look for workers to help move some food products for $5k-10k/day, but no one wanted to work. They hired Indian migrants instead. Factories are paying 10x more to hire people from Europe because they can't find people to work on greenhouse farms. The Ministry of Labor alone has a list of 7,000 vacant jobs.
Italian Senate has ratified (A242-N0) the EU-AM comprehensive cooperation agreement. The bill is sent to House.
President Sarkissian is still in Italy. He met the construction technology firm Rizzani de Eccher. They agreed to send a delegation to Armenia to cooperate in bringing new engineering tech to Armenia. Sarkissian suggested to start by applying the tech in construction in Gyumri.
He also met cyber-defense firm Elettronica with a similar offer.
Armenia and Malta signed an agreement to end double taxation.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/d995ov/anticorruption_news_summary_sep2519_march_1st_how/
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