2020 September 8

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Sep/8/2020 news: \\ new major anti-corruption steps \\ Yerevan deficit shrinks \\ 1994 murder retrial \\ Khojalu facts & Czech reporter \\ ECHR vs Aliyev's Armenophobia \\ ex-MP charged \\ monuments++ \\ mass testing for teachers \\ trashy phone calls \\ loans++ \\ roads++ \\ high-tech tutoring \\
by ar_david_hh


Khojalu events / Dana Mazalova and her Artsakh conflict coverage

Czech journalist Dana Mazalova passed away yesterday. She helped Armenia after the 1988 earthquake and covered the Artsakh conflict.

She is the journalist who met Azeri journalist Chingiz Mustafayev and watched his Aghdam footage, after which she took an interview with Azeri president Mutallibov who admitted that Armenians gave Azeri civilians in Khojalu a safe passage, and that the Azeri opposition later framed the event to oust him.

She noted that Chingiz's original video didn't depict mutilations of Azeri civilian bodies in Khojalu, as later presented by the Azeri authorities, which means the Azeri side must have mutilated the bodies for a psychological impact.

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MFA Mnatsakanyan: Condolences. She left a legacy of truth and justice with her impartial coverage of the Artsakh conflict.

Artsakh HRO Beglaryan: She was there during the conflict and provided impartial coverage, including during Khojalu events, and Azerbaijan's human rights violations against its own citizens and subsequent falsifications.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026984.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026985.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027062.html , http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284877/

update: ECHR about Ramil Safarov case

Earlier the European Court for Human Rights ruled that Azeri ax murderer Ramil Safarov acted on behalf of himself, and not the Republic of Azerbaijan, when he killed the sleeping Armenian soldier Gurgen Margaryan during a NATO training in Hungary. The Armenian side is now appealing that decision to hold Azerbaijan-the-country responsible.

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The ECHR also found that Azerbaijan violated a Convention by immediately releasing Safarov from prison upon his extradition to Azerbaijan. The court found his release to be a result of Azerbaijan's institutional policy of hate towards ethnic Armenians.

https://armenpress.am/eng/amp/1027031

A new trial over a 1994 murder involving Tushonka Manvel's nephew

Earlier we learned that disgraced general Manvel Grigoryan's nephew killed businessman Mher Poghosyan in 1994 and that Manvel allegedly threatened the witnesses to silence them, which led to the death being classified as accidental manslaughter.

Documents were later falsified to claim the businessman died during Artsakh battles. President Robik Kocharyan then gave a posthumous bravery medal to the murdered man.

New evidence has resurfaced post-revolution. The court has agreed for a retrial.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027026.html

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/fe26y7/mar52020_your_daily_news_summarized_dont_miss/

Robik & Co "March 1st" trial resumes

Let's remember who the defendants are and what they're charged with

President Robik Kocharyan: Overthrowing constitutional order (with the use of army), large-scale bribery.

Robik's aide Armen Gevorgyan: aiding Robik's large-scale bribery and aiding the overthrowing of const. order.

Militarymen Yuri Khachaturov and Seyran Ohanyan: overthrowing const. order.

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The judge is discussing the absence of March 1st victims, who recently complained that the trials are phony and being delayed for no reason, which led them to decide not to appear in court sessions anymore.

228 people are registered as march 1st victims. Robik disputed the list but the judge decided to leave it as is.

Robik then asked the judge to remove the arrest on his assets.

The next session is on September 15th.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027021.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027035.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027036.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195289

Aparan mayor is charged with felony embezzlement

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027084.html

Prosecutors prepare a team for asset forfeiture

The govt recently passed an asset forfeiture law aimed at large properties owned by former or current officials who are suspected of corruption.

Prosecutors created a new division dedicated to this task. 5 out of 25 applicants passed and underwent training. They need two more prosecutors to begin.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026983.html

Anti-corruption reforms: more officials to declare properties

The govt has a draft bill to require more types of public officials to be transparent about their properties.

It'll include Yerevan city's secretaries, municipality council members of any settlement with >15k population.

Everyone would be required to list their houses (and more in-depth info about houses), cars, expensive items.

The Corruption Prevention Committee will be allowed to obtain detailed info from law enforcement to check the validity of the property info.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027072.html

HHK MP Mher Sedrakyan faces land corruption charges

The report says: ex-HHK MP Mher served as Erebuni district chief in 1999-2008. He intentionally allowed his son and brother to build an illegal fence around a 2800m2 land in Vardavar Park.

In 2004 he asked Yerevan to give the lands to the Erebuni district. Once that was done, being the leader of the Erebuni district, he finished the illegal process of legalizing the family's structure.

He also illegally gave 12,000m2 Vardavar Park lands to his family.

A felony case is launched. He's told not to leave Armenia. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027050.html

Artists' monument

The capital approved the installation of a monument near 37 Israelyan Street, dedicated to Armenia's prominent cultural figures. It'll be paid by the artists' families.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027051.html

March 1st monument

Yerevan municipality approved the installation of a memorial monument dedicated to March 1st victims. It's still being crafted by the sculptor.

https://factor.am/281968.html

Street renamed

Yerevan approved renaming a street in Zeytun district after a prominent Yezidi political-military figure (during 1st Republic) Usub Bek Temuryan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027080.html

COVID stats

+0 microchips found. +108 infected. +471 healed. +3 deaths. 3182 active. 241041 tested.

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0.2% of military conscripts had COVID at the time of recruitment.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026991.html , http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284898/

Mass-testing for school staff

30,000 school workers will take a COVID test before the launch of the school season next week.

The Healthcare Ministry is working with municipalities to organize the process. 3k have already been tested.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195290

COVID donations

The EU and WHO sent hundreds of oxygen compressors, ECGs, and 10,000 (75-minute-ready) COVID test kits to Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027045.html

COVID: Artsakh travel becomes easier

You no longer have to get a negative COVID test before entering Artsakh. Your temperature will be taken at the border. No need for permission to leave.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027014.html

dumb phone calls

Healthcare Ministry set up an emergency hotline during the pandemic to provide health information.

One of the callers asked the Ministry to guide on which household member should throw out the trash.

Another one complained about WiFi being down.

There were also more serious calls about an ongoing home invasion.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027023.html

teachers get bonuses

Artsakh's school, sports, and art teachers will receive a $40 gift to celebrate the launch of the school season.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027040.html

NSS busted a narco prison guard

The NSS says: a captain guard at Armavir penitentiary took a $50 bribe to smuggle narcotics for inmates last week (California is on fire, the Pacific Ocean is wet). He's been arrested.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026999.html

pirson inmate sets dumbbell record

Justice Ministry wants prison inmates to be busy with something. They have various programs, including in-prison gyms.

Tatul Mirzoyan, who is serving a life sentence, set a new Armenian record by lifting a 16kg weight 707 times in 25 minutes.

His name is added to Դյուցազնագրք.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027039.html

ain't much, but it's honest work

Gyumri city will donate $2,100 to the Lebanese-Armenian community suffered by the explosion. "It's not much but that's what our budget allows us right now," said Mayor Balasanyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027041.html

family gets a new home

Hetq outlet wrote about a low-income Gyumri family with 9 kids living in poor conditions. A Swiss-Armenian donor decided to donate a 3br apartment to them.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/121320 , https://hetq.am/hy/article/121265

Archeological sites and theft

Armenia has 25,000 monuments, out of which 19,000 are protected by the Education Ministry.

Guards cannot always stand near every location, so they travel around and check different locations.

Every year, there are about 10 instances of theft from archaeological and other sites. Experts want tougher punishment for this crime, which is currently between $200 fine to 2 years in jail.

More: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194643

No loans at night?

LHK proposed a law to suspend loan agencies between 22:00-7:00 because "most customers are gamblers, the drunks, or thieves who need a quick transaction."

They also want the interest rate to be written near the signature box because some people don't read the full contract before signing.

The Central Bank asked to delay the bill's discussion after finding issues with the night-time ban.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027005.html , https://factor.am/281830.html

$166m in COVID business loans

Central Bank says the govt transferred $166m to banks so they can vet and issue loans to agriculture and other businesses as part of the COVID aid.

Banks provided additional loans from their budgets.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027012.html

Banks gave COVID loan vacations

...worth $2.7b, out of which $0.2b ended up not entering the banking system, says the Central Bank.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027028.html

Yerevan revenues grow, deficit shrinks

The capital will have +$125,000 revenues, -$485,000 expenditures.

Deficit reduced by $609,000.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027029.html

Border villagers enjoy jazz

Musicians have recently begun entertaining Tavush border villagers who were targeted by Azeri fire in July. After classical performances, now they get to enjoy jazz.

The sixth Yerevan Jazz Fest festival will kick off in Berd, Tavush next Sunday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027019.html

roads++

An important 2km section of Armavir road is being renovated for $2m, for the first time in 30 years.

Another 3km of the H-15 section is being repaired; first since 90s.

https://youtu.be/mz1HjMw6iEI

Nations League soccer

Armenia lost to Macedonia 1:2 earlier. Today they played against Estonia in Yerevan and won with 2:0.

The next match is against Northern Armenians on October 11th.

In a favorable turn of group events for Armenia, the Northern Armenians played a 1:1 tie against Macedonia.

Spoiler: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027088.html

No spoiler: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027089.html

Armenian techies receive training from Silicon Valley

AGBU non-profit and High Tech Ministry organized a "Virtual Bridge Accelerator" online courses.

15 Armenian tech startups will receive tutoring from Valley's experts and international professors for 8 weeks.

They'll learn the Valley's business models, the U.S. financial laws, development paths for startups, help with creating business plans, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027003.html

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You've read 1572 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ip0qzt/sep82020_news_new_major_anticorruption_steps/

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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