2020 June 15

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/15/2020 News: (1) Yerevan's forest restoration (2) Constitutional reform (3) Tsarukyan's immunity (4) "Deal Leader" documents (5) MPs throw blows (6) Free masks. COVID research. Joggers (7) Artsakh's border tests (8) Hospital visits decline (9) Zoo residents (10) Wildfire (11) Lydian's wallet
by ar_david_hh


Don't miss yesterday's bombshell news

Details about BHK chief Gagik Tsarukyan's (Dodi Gago) NSS interrogation and pending felony charges

🍿🍿🍿 https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/h92fe1/jun142020_news_1_bhk_leader_gagik_tsarukyan/fuv5tio/?context=3

252 people were detained

...during yesterday's protests organized by Gago's colleagues. Police warned against COVID-violations. They were given ֏10k tickets and released. A felony investigation was launched for organizing.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190216

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190218

Women were also detained

LHK and BHK MPs complained that during yesterday's protests women were also detained.

dep. Parliament speaker QP Lena Nazaryan criticized the critics for singling out women, treating them as a special weak class, and white-knighting for them. "It degrades women's role."

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190289

NSS releases video about Gago's casino...

...fraud worth dozens of billions. It's about allegedly abusing laws to gain the ability to run business in multiple areas, and other violations.

BHK says Gago doesn't legally run the business, it was routinely audited, and they made more investments that they were legally required to.

https://youtu.be/vLetkdD-CpU

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190230

https://factor.am/260103.html

NSS releases video about Gago's voter buying...

... involving hundreds of millions. It's about allegedly paying BHK workers to bribe the voters in Gegharquniq during the 2017 Parliamentary elections.

The video depicts Gago's Bentleys, lions, bear carpets, and documents allegedly showing voter buying scheme.

--

Prosecutor said the felony case was launched on Feb/1/2020. QP leader Lilith believes there was a leak from the law enforcement and BHK was made aware of it.

Video https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=804793916717687

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190251

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190272

https://factor.am/260127.html

BHK MPs "secured" votes and made a pledge to Gago

Some of Gago's confiscated documents allegedly reveal how the candidates for MP promised to "secure" a certain number of votes and make decisions in the future only after consulting with Gago first, in exchange for receiving Gago's help.

Some high-profile BHK MPs wrote letters:

Napoleon Azizyan wrote "I am and have always been loyal to you, Gago. I will accept your word whether you're right or wrong."

Tigran Urikhanyan promised to secure 8k votes and follow Gago's decisions.

Naira Zohrabyan promised not to make public statements without consulting with Gago first. She swore on her single daughter not to make emotional and confrontational statements anymore.

Sergey Bagratyan promised to secure 7k votes, otherwise he'll place his mandate down, and that "I'm a son of an [immoral] if I break this pledge."

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190284

General Prosecutor wants to strip Gago...

... of his MP's immunity, so he can be arrested. The Parliament received the petition. They'll hold a vote tomorrow.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190270

Gago gains a powerful ally

LHK party released a statement condemning the govt for "political persecution and selective treatment of Gagik Tsarukyan".

Full: http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282005/

Gago released a statement

..., saying: thanks everyone for support. You either work to fix issues or you persecute those who speak about the issues. Today Armenia has a big pandemic problem because of govt's non-serious attitude. The felony case is a result of my last week's speech about replacing the govt. Take it easy and stay safe.

https://factor.am/260060.html

Deputy Parliament speaker..

...QP Alen Simonyan said:

Don't mix up the timeline of events. The case against Gago began long before he gave last week's speech.

ex-NSS Vanetsyan was present during Gago's speech. The two held private convo on several occasions. This [their close ties] might explain why Vanetsyan didn't bust Gago when he was the NSS chief.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190227

COVID stats

+397 infected. +62 healed. +16 deaths.

10409 active. 6276 healed. 83600 tested.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190221

Hospitals see decline in patients & revenue

Gyumri hospital lost 80% of revenues post-COVID because fewer paying customers chose to seek services. Even revenues from govt-subsidized visits declined by 50%.

https://news.am/arm/news/585589.html

COVID briefing / Mask research

Pashinyan said: U.S. research shows that the heavily-hit EU countries suppressed COVID with the help of masks. Research says COVID droplets can hang in the air for dozens of minutes indoors. Masks are the most effective protection.

According to research, masks were more effective than quarantine and social distancing.

Additionally, 172 exams in dozens of countries were done by Lancet researchers. Transmission is orders of magnitude higher without masks. Social distancing was the 2nd most effective protection.

--

You can say that beginning on May 25th, we introduced the most effective anti-COVID measure by requiring masks in public. Yet we have high numbers because we failed to convince/require the public to wear masks.

Not wearing masks is a death sentence for thousands of people.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190267

Geghard had many tourists today

Pashinyan uploads pic: this is cool, but remember to wear masks. [many mask-less tourists near the monastery]

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190238

gazebos as COVID hotspots / Joggers

Healthcare Minister: our research on patients' addresses shows that backyard infections are very common. I began publishing apartment complex building numbers where the safety wasn't respected.

Next month the mask prices will reduce to pre-pandemic levels. You can use a homemade mask if it sits tightly and gets disinfected frequently.

The youth should also worry. The average age of deaths is reducing because many infected young patients only now learn that they have diabetes and hypertension.

Remove the mask only while dining. Don't walk behind joggers because they can exhale a cloud of COVID particles.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190267

Masks will be given for free..

... by police officers to those citizens who receive a ticket for not wearing a mask, said Pashinyan today.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190277

Artsakh conducts border tests

President Arayik decided to require everyone entering Artsakh to do a 15-minute COVID test or to prove that they were tested in Armenia before arrival.

Checkpoints are installed. It costs $30 to get a test on the spot.

https://factor.am/260107.html

Doctors from France

...arrived last night to help Armenia against COVID for 10 days. This morning they joined anesthesiologists and resuscitators in 3 hospitals.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190215

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190224

Forest fire warning

Last year crapton of Armenian forests burned down, mostly from heat. Emergency Ministry advisory for this summer:

Call 911 if you see a fire.

Try to extinguish it if it's small and safe.

If you have to walk through it, use a damp cloth to cover your face and mouth.

If the fire reaches your clothes, spin around fast. If your clothes catch fire, tap to extinguish it.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190234

Constitutional Reforms

...are something that Pashinyan administration has been planning for a while (not to be confused with Constitutional Court referendum).

PM said: I'm against changing the Constitution frequently, yet not only we need reforms today, but we need a new Constitution. In the past, the changes were done for political gain for a certain group.

There is no organic connection between the People and the system the way it is right now because People were left out of the reforms process.

We need to keep the Parliamentary system and better understand how it should function. Do we actually have a full Parliamentary system today?

--

We need to discuss whether to keep the law that artificially gives more seats to the party with the most votes (it's done to secure someone's majority if they're <50%). This is bad for the opposition. On the other hand, there are countries (Israel) where they hold elections every other month because of gridlock. Do we want this?

--

Since many citizens cannot exercise their voting rights during a pandemic, we should discuss and find out whether it's possible to have voting methods other than physical attendance, for example, online voting, and whether it's possible to do it in a safe and secure way. (you already know the answer)

--

The new Constitution should boost foreign investments by making judicial reforms. Every foreign report about Armenia states that our judicial system is deeply flawed. A potential investor reads and makes conclusions.

--

We need a unified court system that'll include the main courts and Constitutional Court under one system.

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190248

Judicial vetting process

IND MP Babajanyan earlier criticized the govt for not being harsh enough on judicial vetting. Govt decided not to mass-vet existing judges' past, at the recommendation of Venice Commission.

Today the IND MP wrote that he met the Justice Minister and that they allegedly agreed to do a broader vetting, and that the Supreme Court (not Constitutional Court) should be used for this. The Supreme Court is already tasked with punishing or protecting judges; their duties might expand. "It'll be done with or without the Supreme Court," wrote the satisfied MP.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190258

բիչոկ & семчка during a soccer match

The story comes from a club coach.

Torpedo and Dilijan soccer clubs held a match. Dilijan's coach offered the referee some sunflower seeds during the 1st half. The ref rejected. The coach joked saying that this looks more like more a Champions League game.

During the 15-minute break, the coach went to the locker room and waited for the doors to open. The angry ref approached and confronted about the Champions League remark, before extinguishing a cigarette butt on the coach's face. The police intervened.

The coach was not allowed to enter the pitch for the 2nd half.

He sent a complaint to the Soccer Federation. He believes the ref doesn't like him because he knows the ref's "past shenanigans".

Soccer Federation will hold a hearing.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190263

Activists go after miner's wallet

Context: Lydian-Armenia wants to mine gold on Amulsar hills, near Jermuk. Jermuk residents complain it'll harm nature. The company was told to fix several problems before they can safely mine gold, but they can't, because the activists blockaded the sight.

Lydian receives money from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Jermuk activists contacted the bank with a petition to end the miner's funding, claiming it violates the bank's own policies about social and environmental causes.

The bank has accepted the petition and will hold a hearing.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1018536.html

WW2 victory parade in Moscow

...to commemorate the 75th anniversary, will be joined by 75 Armenian soldiers, who're already in Moscow to participate in training. PM and others will also attend. It's next month.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/190240

playground > garage

Yerevan city removed a cluster of illegally built garages near an apartment complex buildings to build a playground for kids instead.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118328

Yerevan begins renovation of Oghakadzev Park

Alexander Tamanyan designed the new Yerevan in a way to have its center surrounded by Circular Park. By 1960s the green area sharply reduced. In the late 1990s many trees were cut for construction.

Today, 60% of the 31ha area is occupied by 98 businesses.

--

Yerevan began the renovation of the 6th section with 16,000m2. A third of the entire job will be done by Armenian-Ukrainian diaspora.

They'll build a skate park near St. Gregory Illuminator church. It'll have solar panels and a medical center. Gazebos, benches, disability accommodations, etc.

"Expect a forest-like environment. We'll add many trees. We'll restore Tamanyan's vision," said municipality.

The municipality will begin by kicking out the "most offending" land renters who are there illegally or aren't paying for the lease. They're currently negotiating.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118330

Happy Birthday Lil' Fawn

Yerevan Zoo has a new resident after a European Deer gave birth to "Alisa". So far in 2020, the zoo has welcomed 4 deers, 10 mouflons, 4 bezoar ibex,

Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=264666788321851

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1018512.html


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/h9nahx/jun152020_news_1_yerevans_forest_restoration_2/

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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