2020 August 7

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Aug/7/2020 news: / Russia extradites ex-MP. Murder attempt / Amulsar trailers / Nature audit / Anti-Corruption: Panama Paper's friend, two mayors, officials / Beirut aid / COVID & neighbors / AZ buys GEO fiber-optics / Tavush battles / Women in tech / Fewer car crashes / Women in tech / McBridgeface
by ar_david_hh


Russia extradites ex-HHK MP accused of burglary and murder attempt

Levon Sargsyan, aka Alraghatsi Lyovik, is a former HHK MP who allegedly burglarized and shot at a senior IRS official a decade ago.

A felony case was revived in 2018. He was hiding in Russia. In March, Russia arrested him and prepared the extradition process.

Today Lyovik was brought to Armenia.

https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A

https://factor.am/274836.html

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522

Kocharyan's TV buddy's assets unfrozen

Armen Tavadyan, the owner of 5th Channel and many newspapers, earlier had his assets frozen after being charged with funding a scheme in which Kocharyan supporters (on hidden camera) tried to bribe March 1st victims to withdraw their claims against Kocharyan.

--

Today the judge unfroze Tavadyan's assets, except for $3,100.

https://factor.am/274981.html

Panama Paper suspect's friend is charged

Mihran Poghosyan is the former HHK official tasked with collecting taxes & fees. He was exposed by the Panama Paper leaks.

In addition to that, he was accused of cooking the books to hire fake employees to embezzle their salaries. One of these alleged "fake employees" is now charged with stealing $12K.

The suspect also happens to be HHK Justice Minister and Constitutional Court judge Hrayr Tovmasyan's ex-chauffeur.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/169873

Two other officials are charged...

.... besides Yerevan's ex-mayor Nazaryan. Yesterday we learned how Nazaryan was charged with rewriting laws to help Mishik's Dzoraget hydro plant to get a special status and to overcharge $14.6M in electricity.

--

Prosecutors have asked the court to arrest defendants Nazaryan, Shiraz Kirakosyan, Mushegh Koshetsyan for 2 months before their trial.

https://factor.am/275024.html , https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i4z9oq/aug62020_news_drugs_over_mail_ok_armenia_will

Norashen's ex-mayor is charged...

... with signing fake construction agreements to embezzle $11K in 2017.

https://factor.am/274976.html

Lanjik's ex-mayor is charged...

.... with embezzlement between 2013-2017.

https://factor.am/274944.html

Amulsar standoff / Mayor joins environmentalists / Trailers removed

Lydian miner had earlier removed the activists' tents from the nearby road's shoulder and replaced them with their own trailers. The activists complained.

--

Today the mayor of Jermuk launched a process to remove Lydian's trailers.

Jermuk official: // Lydian's trailers were installed illegally on lands that were leased for other purposes. We'll move them to Lydian's territory which is only 15 meters away. This has turned into a bigger deal than it should be. We won't penalize Lydian.

--

There were false rumors about Lydian bribing us with 500mln to not move the trailers. That money came from the land lease. They used to be paid to Gndevaz city but recently it merged with Jermuk so now Jermuk collects the money. \\

--

The crane came and began moving Lydian's trailers slightly further away from the road, onto the Lydian territory.

It was agreed that the activists wouldn't place their tents in place of the removed trailers. "It's OK. We spent 7 months here before getting those tents," said an activist.

--

Lydian had earlier expressed dissatisfaction with the idea to move their trailers, calling it illegal. "We paid 500mln to lease those lands. What part of that money did the mayor use to improve the city?"

--

Jermuk official insisted that those lands weren't leased by Lydian and that such "meter for meter" land disputes are common across Armenia due to inaccuracies. The Jermuk official said they spent the 500mln on infrastructure upgrades in Jermuk.

https://youtu.be/nG8ujgrn0fw , https://factor.am/274910.html

Environmental inspectors bust 34 violations

No, not in Amulsar. Inspectors audited dozens of sights between July 13-17 and found that 34 companies damaged vegetation, animals, air, etc. causing $867K in damages.

https://factor.am/275032.html

Beirut explosion / Humanitarian aid

Pashinyan & Govt: 3 humanitarian flights with 12 tons of food, medicine, etc. The first flight will transport medicine on Saturday. The other two next week.

https://factor.am/274874.html

--

Officials and community members discussed possible types of aid. Diaspora Committee chief Sinanyan will fly to Beirut: "Armenia isn't going to provide aid only for the Armenian community of Beirut."

https://youtu.be/AbapFaehU08 , https://youtu.be/b-If3pC96jE

--

All Armenia Fund launched a fundraiser yesterday. $40K collected from individuals.

https://youtu.be/lJPeetdxaDg

--

Lebanon-based Azdak journalist: we've seen wars, bombs, and fighter jets, but nothing like this. Massive damages with long-term ramifications. 11 [later 13] deaths and 250 [later 300] injured in the Armenian community. Some are missing.

https://youtu.be/W-Ew3bKIYkg

--

Diaspora activist: We can't make the same mistake we made when the Syrian crisis happened. We need to move faster. Lebanese-Armenians need to be given aid to be relocated to Armenia, instead of the US or elsewhere, so they can remain active in Armenian and Lebanese life.

Armenian govt cannot handle this alone. Diaspora should help to subsidize the Lebanese-Armenians.

https://youtu.be/uf34Mf-LAN8

--

58,000 people signed a petition to hand over Lebanon to French control again, due to mistrust towards the Lebanese government and its ability to fight corruption.

16 officials are arrested, including the port's director.

http://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/08/07/Հազարավոր-լիբանանցիներ-Ֆրանսիային-կոչ-են-անում-երկիրը-կրկին-վերցնել-վերահսկողության-տակ/392218 , https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30770828.html

EU to help Gyumri after the flood

Earlier we saw

how Gyumri was hit with a massive avalanche of water, snow, and hail.

The EU will donate $94K to Gyumri's 2,670 low-income residents who were affected.

https://factor.am/274990.html

COVID stats

+1,394 tested (172,994). +166 infected (6,972 active). +452 healed. +5 deaths (777 total).

No new cases in Artsakh for the second day in a raw. 46 active.

Armenia will resume flights to Tehran on August 25th.

https://factor.am/274854.html , https://factor.am/274856.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024410.html

COVID in Azerbaijan / Aliyev's coverup

Many Azeris don't believe the official stats about COVID retreating in Azerbaijan, saying "why does the govt ask for aid from foreign states, then?"

Doctor Bakhtiyar Mursakulov noted that two Olympic facilities are being converted into COVID facilities, which contradicts the claim that the virus is retreating.

--

There are reports that the Aliyev regime is hiding the true casualties and deaths among doctors and journalists. One outlet says they found evidence of 34 such deaths by scrapping the social media lone, while the govt hid it from the public.

--

JAMnews outlet interviewed an Azeri journalist who said they were told to keep quiet about deaths among doctors and journalists or else they'd face consequences.

--

(Maybe coincidentally maybe not, COVID stats in Azerbaijan began lowering at the same time when they began lowering in Armenia.)

https://factor.am/275053.html

Azerbaijan sneakily buys Georgian fiber-optics network

Georgian outlets write that Georgian "Caucasus Online" company secretly sold 49% of its shares to Azerbaijan, which is a violation of the law because any purchases over 5% must be reported to regulators.

It was sold to Azeri oil magnate Nasim Hasanov for $61M, who has close ties to govt.

--

This company connects Georgia to Bulgaria through the Black Sea and serves as a gateway for Armenia.

Experts reassured that the sale is only for 49% and the Georgian govt wouldn't allow Azeris to shut down the Armenian internet on Georgian soil.

There are concerns, however, that Azeris could get metadata (but not actual data) of Armenian traffic.

--

Many Georgians aren't happy about giving control of their internet infrastructure to Azerbaijan and reminded that the Georgian officials earlier opposed such sales.

--

Experts advised Armenia to actively work with Georgia to counter any possible Azeri attempt to harm Armenia's ongoing plans aimed towards making Armenia an internet hub between Europe and the Middle East.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283812/ , https://armeniasputnik.am/armenia/20200807/24023221/Caucasus-Online-i-bajnetomseri-vajarqy-inchov-e-sparnum-hayastanin.html

Several major oil & gas companies are leaving Azerbaijan

BP wants to cut 40% of its global oil & gas production and move to renewables. $45 oil isn't worth it, and even $70 wouldn't satisfy them.

They'll sell their shares in Azerbaijan, too. They currently own 30% of Azeri-Shirag oil and 29% of Shash-Deniz gas.

--

Exxon Mobil earlier began selling its Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and Azeri-Shirag shares.

Chevron had 10% and 9% shares in oil and gas. They sold $1.57B worth shares to a Romanian company.

https://factor.am/274961.html

Drone shooters got gifts

Artsakh president gave awards to several soldiers, including those who shot down Azeri ORBITER-3 drones during Tavush battles.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024407.html

Azeri GRAD commander

Azeri govt officially denied using GRAD rockets against Armenia during Tavush battles, despite the evidence.

When Azerbaijan released the names of dead soldiers, one of them was Lt. Reshad Mahmudov, who was a known commander of a GRAD unit with various TV interviews in the past.

https://razm.info/144842

update: HIV and Norq clinics to merge / Directors replaced

On February we learned that Healthcare Ministry decided to merge the HIV clinic with Norq Infections hospital so both would have one administration/database which would allow HIV patients, who are more vulnerable to infections, to get better care.

Some employees criticized the merger saying it would cause layoffs and some expensive equipment would be taken from one facility and given to the other.

--

The merger will proceed. Today the director of Norq Mher Davidyants resigned. Initially, he accepted the Deputy's position in the new facility but later changed his mind.

The HIV center's director is also gone.

The director of the now-merged facility will be appointed soon.

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/fcjd19/mar22020_news_collection_from_armenia_major_busts/

Veteran militaryman retires

Artsakh army's Information & Public Relations chief Senor Hasratyan is leaving the army after 25 years of service. "I'm proud to have served in the victorious army."

Hasratyan is known for producing TV shows about weapons and the Artsakh war.

https://factor.am/274843.html

Los Vegos

Singer Arman Hovhannisyan will have a shiny star on Las Vegas Walk of Star (similar to Los Angeles thing).

He thanked the fans. The opening ceremony is on Sep 21.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024305.html

Fewer car incidents in 1H

-17% fewer car incidents across Armenia this year.

1,720 incidents. 122 deaths. 2,540 wounded.

However, the incidents are +7% for June YoY.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024382.html

Forbes: Armenia has high female participation in tech

"It's the world's next tech hub. Double-digit growth. 20,000 workers with 30% being women."

Armenia leads the "Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality".

Some of the biggest tech firms have 30-70% female employees.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackieabramian/2020/08/06/armenias-women-tech-trailblazers-are-forging-new-horizons/

AM: http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283826/

Prosecutors want to reform domestic abuse investigations

Beginning Jan/1/2018 prosecutors were allowed to charge a domestic abuser even if the victim didn't press charges.

Recently the prosecutors audited the statistics, examined the ECHR precedence, and asked the Parliament to amend the law to give prosecutors broader rights.

--

Right now, prosecutors can press charges without the victim's help only if the victim is "defenseless or is depended on abuser".

Prosecutors want to add "if there is a threat to the victim's health or life" clause.

--

They also want to remove the requirement for the victim to physically appear at a police station with the purpose of "proving" that they are defenseless or dependent on the abuser.

https://factor.am/274972.html

ooof can you smell that մազութ?

A 10km section of Tigranashen-Zangakatun road is being renovated, for the first time in 20 years, with a 10cm thicc double-layer asphalt *(would you like some fries with your order?). It'll have a water removal network and shoulders. Costs $2M.

https://factor.am/274861.html

The rumors are true

Grandmaster Levon Aronyan has a new girlfriend. "Ani has made me want to live again."

The chess player lost his wife and partner of 13 years to a car incident earlier this year.

https://factor.am/274846.html

Bridgy McBridgeface 🤔

An interesting looking metal bridge on Arapi river is given the status of a "newly discovered monument of a local significance".

Your Highness Bridgy.

Honorary McBridgeface.

--

It's located between Gyumri and Arapi, on the river Akhuryan. It was built in 1877 by Russian tsar's soldiers, who used it to advance the army to capture Kars.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024408.html

--

You've read 1877 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i5kfiz/aug72020_news_russia_extradites_exmp_murder/

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. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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