2020 June 26

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/26/2020 News: (1) Tsarukyan company's multi-million $ land fraud (2) Constitutional Court judges fired. Details. 3) BHK MP family's & Yerevan official's property fraud (4) COVID news (5) Armenian hackers (6) Medicine production in Armenia (7) Hamalir fire (8) Fixed soccer matches busted, 5 teams
by ar_david_hh


Let's recap the developments around Constitutional Court

Parliament passed a bill to fire 3 Constitutional Court (CC) judges "for being above others".

The bill was "approved" by Venice Commission, except for the part where Venice recommended firing the judges during a long transitional period.

The Parliament said it's been "gradual enough" since the CC crisis began 1.5 years ago. Still, Venice criticized for ignoring that recommendation.

President Sarkissian signed the bill.

BHK desperately wants to kill the bill so the judges won't be fired. This would ensure that Kocharyan's crucial March 1st case is heard by these "pro-Kocharyan" judges.

To kill the bill, BHK wants to send it to CC, so the CC judges can stop the law that is meant to fire themselves.

To send the bill to CC, BHK needs to use a special law that allows Parliamentary parties to send a bill to CC.

To be able to use this special law, BHK needs 1/5th of the MPs to join the effort. BHK is short 2 MPs.

BHK asked LHK to join. LHK refused, saying they'll join the effort only after CC hears Kocharyan's case on July 7th. This infuriated BHK and the rest of Roboserj.

After learning that BHK's effort has failed and the pro-Kocharyan judges will be fired before the July 7th hearing, Kocharyan pulled his case from CC.

LHK argues CC can still hear the Kocharyan case, especially since Kocharyan's case was submitted to CC by two separate parties (Kocharyan and a lower court judge). If one party (Kocharyan) pulls it, the CC can still hear the other party's (judge's) petition about the same topic.

--

BHK got extra desperate last night and sent the bill to CC without getting the required 27 MP signatures.

LHK responds: you need 2 more MPs. Your document has reached CC, but it cannot be accepted.

--

ding ding ding

June 26th has arrived. The bill to fire CC judges is now a law.

Pashinyan responds: starting today, Hrayr Tovmasyan is no longer the CC president, while judges Felix, Gyulumyan, and Nazaryan are fired. 3 new judges will be appointed within 2 months.

Every Armenian institute must take this that into account [in case the judges stay in office and pretend to pass resolutions].

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191135

https://factor.am/263803.html

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191136

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191210

Tags: #CC ##ConstitutionalCourt

What now?

Non-fired CC judge Vahe Grigoryan said:

The bill is now a law. Congratulations on this important day for democracy and human rights.

3 judges are no longer judges. I wish them strong health and peace; enjoy your earned retirement.

Within 2 months, the govt, president, and Supreme Court will nominate 3 new judges.

Hrayr Tovmasyan is no longer the president. Judges will elect a new president after 3 new judges are appointed.

Right now we have 6 judges, which is enough to carry on CC's regular work.

Since president Hrayr is demoted and second-in-command Gyulumyan is fired, the court needs a new president and deputy president.

The temporary president will become A. Khachatryan per seniority.

I sent a letter in June/26/2019 in which I spoke about the crisis in CC. Ever since I've been boycotting court sessions. I'm glad the crisis is resolved now.

Full speech/direct quote here: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191144

Two CC judges go on vacation

Demoted but non-fired judge HHK Hrayr Tovmasyan, and non-fired judge Arevik Petrosyan are on vacation.

CC claims Gyulumyan will become the acting president since president Hrayr is on vacation. However, Gyulumyan is already fired.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191155

Fired judge Gyuluman said:

I insist that the bill doesn't fire me because my 1st term doesn't count towards the 12-year limit.

I'll enter the building now and take the role of the acting president because Hrayr went on vacation.

If it comes down to "physical", I'll voluntarily leave, then I'll take the case to the European Court for Human Rights.

A similar story happened in Ukraine when a revolutionary govt came and replaced judges but the next administration reversed the decision and brought them back.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191176

QP MPs respond to ex-judge Gyulumyan

QP Alen: Instead of giving empty interviews, the fired judges should empty their offices.

QP Yeghoyan: Gyulumyan's term was going to end in 6 months because she turns 65. Since she mentioned Ukraine and expects "the next Armenian government" to re-instate her, does that mean she expects a change of govt within the next 6 months? [the MP is drawing parallels with Roboserj circles that say Pashinyan only has a few months left]

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191181 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191193

Parliament publishes a memo

Parliament released a statement: any judge with a combined 12 years in CC is terminated, including Gyulumyan. CC judges' personal files are kept in Parliament. We examined them and concluded that Gyulumyan served >12 years, Nazaryan 24 years, Tokhyan 22 years.

Gyulumyan is no longer a judge nor president. Judge Khachatryan is the acting-president per seniority.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191195

Tsarukyan's Multi-Group's million-dollar land fraud in Arinj

Earlier we learned about land-related felony cases against BHK chief Tsarukyan's NYU company and Arinj mayor.

NSS says similar shenanigans were done with Tsarukyan's biggest Multi-Group firm (pikachu face).

--

NSS says: Arinj mayor falsified document to claim 88ha city-owned lands were of agricultural purpose and not industrial.

As a result, the land's value went from $8.2mln to $52k. It was sold to Tsarukyan's Multi-Group during a phony auction.

Then, a 0.2ha area was illegally re-purposed from agricultural to industrial land, so Tsarukyan could build a building on it.

A felony case is launched. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191169

Pashinyan blasts Tsarukyan as a phony benefactor

Pashinyan said: the art of "loving" your community. At first, you steal a millions-worth land for 156x cheaper price, then wear a benefactor's suit.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191172

BHK MP and ex-Yerevan city official busted / Land fraud

The authorities say:

In Aug/8/2002, the ex-deputy of Yerevan Urban Development falsified documents so BHK MP Ruben Grigoryan's daughter would illegally obtain land without an auction for a dirt-cheap price.

A felony case is launched against the ex-official.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191163

Plot twist / Producer's assets arrested / HHK Minister

Movie producer Galstyan and ex-HHK Minister Amiryan have been fighting.

The producer claims that years ago, the HHK official stole money from him under the pretense of using it as pocket change during the Cannes Festival.

HHK official counter-sued for alleged defamation. Meanwhile, the producer continued to accuse him.

Since the accusations are still being thrown around, the court decided to freeze $6,200 in producer's assets to stop him from making accusations until a court trial.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191154

COVID stats

+759 infected. +814 healed. +13 deaths.

105k tested. 10.5k active. 12.1k healed. 0.4k deaths.

Some eight BHK and QP MPs are infected.

--

Pashinyan: bros, we're hitting new anti-records with infections per-million population. This wouldn't be the case if the public took a more active role in fighting the pandemic. Fake news and ignoring safety remains a big problem.

Yesterday a felony case was launched against a taxi driver who went back to work the day after being diagnosed.

We'll begin to collect the $20 penalties for violating safety. We could also introduce new restrictions.

The Healthcare system is not fighting against the pandemic, they are fighting the outcome of the pandemic. It's the public that has to fight the pandemic.

[A man was invited to give an emotional speech about how his entire family got infected after not taking it seriously. The man is Antares publishing agency's director.]

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191149 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191197

grazie

11 Italian doctors arrived to help fight COVID for 3 weeks.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1019801.html

Armenian hackers respond

Yesterday we learned that Azeri hackers published personal info of 1,000 Armenian citizens infected with COVID.

Today Armenian hacking group Monte Melkonyan Cyber-Army published a similar database of Azeri patients, saying "it's only part of the data".

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282388/

unified school exams

... will take place soon. Students in smaller than usual groups will enter a facility to give exams, 2 meters apart. Education Ministry prohibited parents (cheerleaders) from gathering outside the buildings.

Exam officials will be tested first, while the students will take temperature checks before entering.

100 applicants outside of Armenia will be flown to Armenia so they can participate in exams.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191187 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191189

Armenia is a medicine exporter

50% of meds produced in Armenia are exported. The trade dropped during the pandemic.

Exports: 81% to Georgia, 12% to Russia.

Imports: 41% from Russia, 8% Germany, 7% France.

--

Likvor firm's glaucoma med exports +70% even during the pandemic.

ArpiMed's anti-epilepsy and other drugs saw +40% growth. Their psychotropic drugs go to Georgia and Ukraine.

Medical Horizon exports those little tiny things that you shove up your butt to solve problems. Top destination is [redacted, ամոթա].

Esko Farm exports mouthwash and nasal drops to Russia and Georgia. They began producing sanitizers recently.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118686

National Agricultural Institute of Argentina...

... is helping their Armenian colleagues to teach Armavir farmers how to manage water and land more efficiently, with newer tools. Businesses were present.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1019797.html

A large fire broke out near Hamalir

10 firefighters were dispatched to isolate a forest fire near Hamalir sports center. It turns out it's a massive fire. Ongoing situation.

https://www.facebook.com/100001432745320/videos/3178036345587426/

https://youtu.be/vrXWyjDfBjk

Armenian church in Van

Turkish-Armenian MP Karo Paylan has asked the Tourism Minister to renovate and protect a 16th century Armenian St. Marinos church in Van.

The MP accused the govt of deliberately ignoring theft and damage to Armenian cultural sights.

https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30692312.html

The army conducts tank and artillery training

https://youtu.be/zAiy6hOezuE

Soccer Federation busted 5 teams with match-fixing

Soccer Federation cooperated with the law enforcement, UEFA, international betting agencies, and found that 5 Armenian teams were fixing their matches.

The teams: Aragats, Torpedo, Masis, Lokomotiv, Yerevan.

Their membership with Soccer Federation is terminated. "This is the beginning," says the Federation, citing its pledge to fight corruption after a December-2019 meeting with Pashinyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1019824.html

Vatican's new stamp

...is themed after Pope Francis's 2016 visit to Armenia.

Pic: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191142


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/hgd842/jun262020_news_1_tsarukyan_companys_multimillion/

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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