2021 April 2

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

Apr/2/2021: Prosecutors want to charge Kocharyan with another article, petition Constitutional Court __ 2016 war report soon __ New community-business hub __ Artsakh economy & housing __ US & RU aid, Swiss lawmakers __ Yerevan's bypass road __ Lowcost airlines __ Pfizer vs AstraZeneca __ teacher hub
by ar_david_hh


Your 10-minute Friday report in 2551 words.

March 1st: general prosecutor files counter-petition with Constitutional Court / "gaps in law allow perps to get away while violating victims' rights"

Today the General Prosecutor Davtyan announced that he filed a petition with the Constitutional Court.

He argues that the way some parts of Constitutional and legal code are written, do not allow prosecutors to change the charges against the defendant while at the same time requiring the court to drop charges in the event a law is struck down, thus violating the victims' rights and allowing perpetrators to get away, despite there being a crime, evidence, and victims.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047883.html

Tags: ##ConstitutionalCourt

March 1st trial resumes / prosecutors want to change charges / everyone is sanctioned / "the judge will be sued"

Kocharyan & Co's March 1st trial resumed today. The defense wants the judge to drop charges ASAP over the latest Constitutional Court ruling that struck down Article 300.1. The court has to hear the prosecutors' side too, however. The latter will make their case today.

The judge decided to sanction (warning) the defense and prosecutors for inappropriate behavior during the last two sessions.

The prosecutor announced that the General Prosecutor has contacted the Constitutional Court with a challenge. The judge asked the prosecutor to share the details with the defense.

The court took a break. Defendants Khachaturov and Ohanyan, and their lawyers, decided not to return from the break. They complain that the judge hasn't yet dropped the charges.

Meanwhile, one of the March 1st murder victims' brother became his legal successor to take part in the trial.

Prosecutor made his case. He wants the judge to lift the sanctions against the defendants and to suspend the trial so prosecutors can change the charges against Kocharyan & Co from Article 300.1 (which no longer exists) to Article 309.3. The latter is about the abuse of power by officials, punishable between 6-10 years. (slightly less severe than 300.1)

The prosecutor explains the decision with the following legal jargon which I cannot translate: "Քրեական օրենսգրքում հանցակազմեր կան նախատեսված, որոնք ընդհանուր և հատուկ են, մեկը մյուսի մեջ կլանում են, երբ հատուկ նորմն իր մեջ կլանում է ընդհանուր նորմը: Երբ կա հատուկ նորմ, արարքը չես կարող որակել ընդհանուր նորմով, երբ կա հատուկ հանցակազմ, չես կարող արարքը որակել ընդհանուր հանցակազմով, այլ պետք է որակես հատուկ հանցակազմով: Նման հարաբերակցություն ունեն քրեական օրենսգրքի 309-րդ հոդվածի 3-րդ մասը և 300.1-րդ հոդվածը, որով որակված էր չորս ամբաստանյալների արարքը". Full text here.

He argues that when the charges are dropped against the suspect for artificial reasons, that doesn't mean there was no crime and no victims. The international and Cassation Court's precedence say that it's a violation of victims' rights.

Prosecutor continues: initially, we couldn't charge the defendants with Article 309.3 because Article 300.1 existed. Now that 300.1 doesn't exist, the Constitutional Court must give a method to file 309.3 charges instead, otherwise, victims' rights will be violated. We believe the Lower court should also send a petition to Constitutional Court. //

The trial has ended for today. The judge will read the verdict on April 6th. She will decide whether to drop charges against defendants or to file a petition with Constitutional Court.

Kocharyan's lawyer gave an interview and threatened to sue judge Anna Danibekyan for not dropping the charges.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047889.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047891.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047900.html , https://youtu.be/1PpLlDbH4i8 , https://youtu.be/yTfm2frmAug , https://youtu.be/ZE7hXlkBdB4 , https://factor.am/355111.html , https://factor.am/355224.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047940.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047941.html , https://www.arlis.am/documentview.aspx?docid=69646 , https://youtu.be/7s7T8tUmGWA , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/210487

members of US Congress call for a $100M aid package for Armenia and Artsakh

Several representatives called for the White House to provide $100M in economic and $2M in de-mining aid, and to end all military aid to Azerbaijan until it ends the hostile policies.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047871.html

Russia has sent $15M in post-war aid to Artsakh

Deputy MFA Rudenko: The direct financial assistance of the Russian Federation to the victims in Nagorno Karabakh currently amounts to about $ 15 million. Conditions are being created to establish mutual trust and security. Russia is always ready to support the fraternal Armenian people.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047892.html , https://www.tert.am/am/news/2021/04/02/support/3571466

Report: Russia and Turkey to produce Bayraktar drones together

According to Russian and Azeri sources, in the summer of 2020, the Bayraktar company signed an agreement with a Russia-based newly-founded drone company in Nizhni Novgorod. The new Russian company is "linked to a high-ranking oligarch in Kremlin."

The outlets assume that Turkey wants to offer its technology as an alternative to the "Russian drone industry which is developing too slowly."

https://factor.am/355436.html

33 Swiss lawmakers urge the govt to pressure Turkey over human rights violations in Artsakh and elsewhere

It mentions the hired mercenaries used during the war

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047884.html

Pashinyan will visit Moscow to meet Putin on April 7th

He is in self-imposed quarantine. They will discuss the regional trade unblocking, RU-AM cooperation, upcoming elections.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047893.html

students to learn winemaking

Armenian Viticulture and Wine Fund signed a memorandum of cooperation with the German international cooperation institute (GIZ) to develop the local private sector.

The winemakers and Agrarian University will work together to prepare winemakers with hands-on experience.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047876.html

Ukrainian lowcost Bee Airlines will connect Kiev-Yerevan-Odessa beginning next month

Twice a week. The cheapest tickets cost $36.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047902.html

COVID stats

4830 tested. 1116 infected. 864 healed. 19 deaths. 15851 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047862.html

the COVID travel app expands for more EAEU trade bloc countries

Kyrgyzstan will join Armenia, Russia, and Belarus to use the new app that allows for travel after testing negative. The app will be used indefinitely; it graduated the trial period.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047861.html

scientists detect 10 cases of UK strain in Armenia

The Healthcare Ministry wanted 12 samples to be examined by the molecular institute on March 18th. 10 of them are confirmed as UK variants. "Distance. Mask. Hands."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047911.html

Pfizer vs AstraZeneca

Armenia had been negotiating through COVAX for several months to purchase a vaccine (whatever is offered).

The Ministry was asked why they chose AstraZeneca over Pfizer. "We were initially offered Pfizer but it was impossible because it requires -70c temps for storage. We don't have that infrastructure, so we chose AstraZeneca."

The Ministry says AstraZeneca received a green light from US FDA, EU Drug Registration Agency, and the WHO, and that no evidence was found about the vaccine causing health issues. "As for the US's possible refusal to use AstraZeneca, it's because they have contracts with other vaccine makers, not because it's dangerous. They earlier rejected Sputnik-V despite it being effective. Don't fall for media manipulations."

https://youtu.be/ZZuBsIGMTOM , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047880.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047914.html , https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-astrazeneca-exclus/exclusive-fauci-says-u-s-may-not-need-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-idUSKBN2BO6XS , https://youtu.be/s_VlowshJmU

suspected arrested in Parliament president Mirzoyan's beating case

Prosecutors say: organized riots took place in Yerevan on November 10th. Mirzoyan was assaulted. Two days later, the Lower court approved the arrest of suspect SJ's. However, the Appeals court released him on the grounds of reasonable doubt. We challenged the Appeals verdict in Cassations court.

The Cassations court sided with prosecutors and struck down the Appeals verdict. SJ has been arrested. The investigation continues to identify other participants.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047913.html

former CoGS Onik's lawsuit

He is suing President Sarkissian and Premier Pashinyan to get his job as the army chief back. He hired the lawyer who represents Kocharyan. The lawyers for the defendant (Pashinyan) and the plaintiff argued for and against dismissing the lawsuit altogether.

The judge earlier decided to temporarily "freeze" Onik's firing until the main verdict. The decision was criticized as being "illegal and political", with critics arguing that what has been finalized (Onik being fired) cannot be "suspended". (it could still be reversed)

The judge left to make a verdict on whether Onik's lawsuit should continue.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047877.html

April 2016 War remembrance day

Public officials and military figures visited the Yerablur pantheon to pay respect to the fallen soldiers.

Artsakh MFA: Azerbaijan violated the 1994 ceasefire and used every type of weapon in its arsenal to target Artsakh's military and civilian objects. Numerous war crimes were committed against civilians.

The fact that Azerbaijan was not convicted of war crimes by the international community, further intensified its military ambitions in the coming years, which reached its peak in September of 2020, with the help of Turkey and international terrorist groups.

The international community must give a decisive assessment to the aggressive policy of Azerbaijan, which continues to this day.

The unity shown by the Armenian people during the April war and the heroic deeds of our heroes will forever remain in the memory of our generations. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047850.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047850.html

LHK and QP MPs about the 2016 April War investigative report

A bipartisan Parliamentary group recently finalized the examination of the 2016 war to uncover the shortcomings and to find those responsible for the losses. Armenia lost important heights in northern Talish and southern Fizuli in addition to surrounding lands.

LHK MP Gorgisyan: we sent the report to Parliament president Mirzoyan. It should be made public while keeping certain information classified, for NSS use only. I do not know why its publishing is being delayed. Maybe for technical reasons, maybe for political reasons, maybe the shortcomings that existed prior to 2016 weren't fixed by 2020. One of the parties responsible for our losses was CoGS Artak Davtyan [also a high-ranking official back in 2016]. //

QP MP Andranik: Artak Davtyan was a high-ranking official in 2016 but Yuri Khachaturov was the CoGS. The latter was responsible for the army's shortcomings. That's why he refused to testify during our investigation. When the report is published, you will learn what Khachaturov promised [to Russia and Azerbaijan] while visiting Moscow [to reach a ceasefire]. //

The QP MP, who heads the Parliamentary Security Commission, will soon publish details from the investigative report after redacting the classified parts. "Journalists will be allowed to get a copy of the report."

https://factor.am/355212.html , https://factor.am/355216.html , https://factor.am/355283.html , https://youtu.be/9ba3fA39p94

a new housing district in Stepanakert

... will have 204 apartments, located on Tigran Mets St. Another 60 apartments will be built in Ajapnyak district. The ongoing construction of 261-apartment buildings on Tumanyan St. will finish in September.

The All Armenia Fund will finance an auction to hire contractors for 10 buildings with 300 apartments.

Some 4,500 buildings were registered damaged in capital Stepanakert. A few thousands of them have undergone roof and window renovations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047810.html

Artsakh IRS about the ongoing economic recovery:

Budget revenues were ֏4.78B in Q1 instead of expected ֏3.3B.

In March alone, the revenues surpassed the expectations by 2.8x, reaching ֏1.96B.

There are 3,193 taxpaying businesses today, 1056 of which began or resumed their operations in Q1. Some 37% of them receive various tax/fee waivers.

Read yesterday's news for Armenia's March stats.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047919.html

classy chess classes for classic prisoners

Chess Federation's grandmaster Smbat Lputyan agreed with Justice Ministry to launch an experimental program to remotely teach chess to inmates who are new to the game, "to keep them busy."

The first class was held yesterday among 10 inmates. The top-5 will be selected to represent Armenia in an international competition. (it takes 5 felons to replace 1 Aronian... SAD)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047860.html

international duduk competition-festival in Yerevan

... will be held for a month among young artists, beginning Monday. Diasporans and foreigners will visit to play traditional music.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047886.html

rock band Dorians returns after 10 years

Inspired "by the war and the need for unity." They finished the production of a new music clip on Wednesday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047865.html

eco-friendly community and an industrial zone will be built in Shirak

Economy Minister Qerobyan visited Abovyan city to meet the representatives of the "Build Armenia" program who are tasked with building a "free production zone" and a sustainable community.

70 hectares of land are purchased for now. Facilities for business offices and industrial infrastructure will be built this year. It's a $6M investment program that will reach $30M by the end of this year. The total cost could reach $1B.

The "HayProspect" community will be the first eco-friendly, energy-friendly, and economically stable community in the region, say the developers.

It'll be located between Abovyan, Arzni, and Balahovik in the Kotayk province. It'll stretch for 100 hectares between Abovyan railway station to Yerevan-Sevan highway.

The community is expected to have technology centers, housing units for up to 10,000 residents, and public spaces.

The community will also include HayZone free economic zone and customs storages, HayTech park technological center, HayRanch agricultural research centers.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=109204134501055

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047930.html

61 high-tech firms to receive grants as part of COVID aid / exo-skeleton / sensors

The Ministry launched the process to issue grants to companies as part of the 17th COVID aid package. 23 startup ideas and 38 ideas by established companies were submitted.

exo

One of the winners is QaylTech which presented an exo-skeleton. The founder is doctor Davit Arsenyan who decided to help disabled soldiers after the 2016 war by producing rehabilitation equipment.

The concept device was tested earlier. The newer version will be modernized to allow the person to keep balance while walking.

sensors

Instigate Robotics is another winner. It helps prevent wildfires and illegal deforestation by analyzing nearby sounds and smoke, before ending the data to headquarters.

It can also be used by the military to detect movement; it's being tested. It can work on solar power for 5 years without intervention.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047901.html

website to allow city teachers to register and work in provinces

Deputy Education Minister gave an interview recently to discuss the ongoing education reforms aimed at increasing teacher salaries and giving incentives for teachers to move to border and mountainous regions.

A new website has been launched to address the supply and demand. Any person with a tutoring license can sign up. The Ministry acts as a middleman to select the best-suited candidate and refer them to the rural school for signing a contract.

There is a catch, though. If the "matchmaking" offers job positions but the applicant rejects 3 in a row, they will lose access to the website for 3 years.

Ministry says the tool will also help reduce corruption and administrative beurocracy and will make the process of finding vacant jobs easier.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047867.html

video: new roads and bridge to redirect traffic to bypass Yerevan Center

Mayor Marutyan visited the construction site of Yerevan's western ring road. It is expected to finish in 2H21.

The crews are working on new road sections on Babajanyan-Ashtarak (9.4km) and Argavand-Shirak (2.7km). They will connect Ashtarak and Artashak roads by bypassing the Yerevan center.

It will reduce the street traffic in the Center and cut travel time for north-south travelers by 30 minutes.

The new 252-meter metal bridge will become the fifth bridge to stretch over the Hrazdan River. "It has a unique and flexible structure. An experienced Spanish company is building it. It's being built for 100 years." Some of the workers are from Georgia.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1985306368273774

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047870.html

top-10 bestseller documentary books of February

6) The cafe on the edge of the world, by John Strelecky

5) Զորավար Անդրանիկը ռուս և բրիտանացի զորականների հուշերում, by Karo Vardanyan

4) 1 րոպե անց, by Samvel Grigoryan

3) The 5 love languages, by Gary Chapman

2) The leader who had no title, by Robin Sharma

1) The monk who sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1047801.html

end of report

The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.

News archive: http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

Donations: soldiers' families, humanitarian aid, US tax-deductible donation.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/mis7cp/apr22021_prosecutors_want_to_charge_kocharyan/

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