New Promising Era President Armen Sarkissian And VP Nikol Pashiniannew promising era president armen sarkissian vp nikol pashinian new promising era president
Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:19 AM
YEREVAN, July 17. /ARKA/. Things have become tense in the Armenian defense ministry – generals are concerned the intense scrutiny launched in the army, Hraparak reports.
The media resource, referring to a high-ranking official at the defense ministry, said that “everyone is considered as criminal”.
He is unhappy about inspections in the army. He said that the army has become a target.
In his words, one general is wanted now, another is detained and the third is summoned as witness.
In this unnamed officer’s opinion, this is a show and urges the authorities to disturb nobody. --0----
Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:31 AM
The National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) says it has uncovered a corruption scheme involving a group of citizens, government officials and doctors, as well as staff of military commissariats.
The NSS said the suspects have faked official documents for more than 40 citizens to be granted military deferment for the 2018 summer conscription. A doctor identified as Aramayis Samosyan is said to have had a key role in the scheme.
A former serviceman of the central recruitment station of the defense ministry is suspected in organizing the scheme by conspiring with a group of people and demanding 14,000 dollar bribes from would-be-conscripts in order to fake medical papers for them and eventually be granted deferment. Both present and former staff of military commissariats, doctors and personnel of various facilities have cooperated with the former servicemen, identified as Kolya Kosakyan. The collaborators of the scheme received parts from the bribes, NSS said.
The NSS conducted searches and interrogations and confiscated cash, medical papers and other documents.
The NSS said that Kosakyan has also conspired with the military commissar of Gegharkunik Province Garik Arakelyan to grant a man deferment from service for a 11,000 dollar bribe. Arakelyan had taken the bribe, began the process, but failed to complete it because NSS agents apprehended him.
Three people are charged amid the ongoing investigation.
Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:32 AM
Yerevan police are investigating a kidnapping and assault case involving Narek Sargsyan, the 31 year old son of Alexander Sargsyan – the younger brother of former President Serzh Sargsyan.
Narek Sargsyan was previously declared wanted as National Security Service agents discovered large amounts of cash, jewelry and stolen valuable paintings. Sargsyan is believed to have deceived a relative of prominent painter Martiros Saryan and stolen 14 paintings of the artist worth 280,000 dollars. Artem Poghosyan, Narek’s chief bodyguard, has been arrested amid the ongoing investigation.
The new investigation concerns a 49 year old who police say was kidnapped last year in Yerevan and beaten because of his business plans. The man planned to open a nightclub.
Police say Sargsyan’s bodyguard invited the 49-year-old to a meeting in August of 2017. The victim was kidnapped from downtown Yerevan by several men and taken to the basement of Narek Sargsyan’s residence.
The man was beaten, threatened at gunpoint and tortured with a lighter. He was then relocated to another facility, and again beaten.
Only when assuring that he won’t undertake any business activities concerning nightclubs was the man released. The crime wasn’t reported earlier. Police forwarded the materials to the Prosecutor General’s office for further proceedings.
Artem Poghosyan, 28, the chief bodyguard of former president Serzh Sargsyan’s nephew, is remanded in custody in suspicion of another crime.
Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:33 AM
Edgar Tonoyan, son of Armenia’s defense minister Davit Tonoyan, will conduct his military service in the Republic of Artsakh.
Recently Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s son, Ashot Pashinyan, has also been conscripted for the military service. He voluntarily expressed a wish to serve in Artsakh.
PM Pashinyan called on all Armenians living abroad who are at the conscript age to come and serve in the Armenian Army.
Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:58 AM
- 15:01 | July 18,2018 | Social
“We all want to see him, say that you have won, good job, and we are sure you will find out the cases of our children.”
The parents of 10 victims of March 1, 2008, want to meet with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. “We all want to see him, say that you have won, good job, and we are sure you will find out the cases of our children. We also have several questions to ask, the monument should be installed,” Sargis Kloyan, father of Gor Kloyan, told “A1 +”.
Parents of the victims hope that the case of March 1, though not at once, will be fully discovered during Nikol Pashinyan’s government. “The moment of the parents’ dream – April Revolution, led by Nikol Pashinyan, came. If it were no power, the parents would continue to be deceived “said Vachagan Farmanyan, father of Armen Farmanyan.
“It is already our power, we can say that a new Armenia, a new government. The investigators have already changed, the NSS has changed, the SIS has changed, it can be said that Aghvan Hovsepyan has run away, and our senior investigator Vahagn Harutyunyan has left the case on March 1,” Sargis Kloyan said.
Former Defense Minister Mikayel Harutyunyan is wanted for the March 1 case. Head of Robert Kocharyan’s office Victor Soghomonyan has already stated that the army was brought to the capital those days for internal security and thus the Constitution was not violated.
“I am sorry, but Soghomonyan is wrong. There is no state of emergency in the Constitution, there is only a martial law, and in that case they could bring in the army during an ultra-violent situation. I saw with my eyes the soldiers in cars, in streets of Melk-Adamyan and Tigran Mets, from 17:30 to 18:00,” Sargis Kloyan said.
The relatives of the victims of March 1 await Robert Kocharyan’s interrogation and are eager to hear the answer of the key question: as a supreme commander-in-chief, why did he order to shoot people? Robert Kocharyan promised to come to the SIS after July 25, when he returns to Yerevan.
Posted 19 July 2018 - 10:01 AM
Posted 21 July 2018 - 08:35 AM
Inspired by recent regime change, Armenian church hardliners try to force out their unpopular leader.
The Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II celebrating the liturgy at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. (Photo: Facebook)
On a dirt road high in the mountains of southern Armenia, the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, the top figure in the Armenian church, stood puzzled as a group of protesters surrounded him, shouting.
“Step down! Leave the Holy See!” chanted the crowd, including young monks in black robes, as they physically blocked him from getting into his SUV.
The protesters were part of a movement that has been targeting the deeply unpopular Karekin, an effort inspired by the recent toppling of Armenia's longtime political leader, Serzh Sargsyan – known as Serjik to his detractors. “Karekin, leave! Join Serjik!” they chanted, even pushing and grabbing him, as seen in an extraordinary video that shocked Armenians both for its aggression against the Catholicos and for the surprising vulnerability he displayed.
Eventually police were able to bundle the cleric into his vehicle. But the July 14 encounter highlighted the growing challenges facing Karekin and the church in the new Armenia.
The movement to oust him, called “New Armenia, New Patriarch,” has been holding rallies in downtown Yerevan, recording video appeals against Karekin, and picketing his office in Etchmiadzin, the ancient seat of the Armenian church just outside Yerevan.
The movement is being led by Hieromonk Koryun Arakelyan, the abbot of the Gndevank Monastery, where Karekin II visited on July 14 in attempt to negotiate with the monastery brethren. Arakelyan is a theological hardliner with a large following across Armenia, well-respected for his piety and devotion. Since April, when protests led by Nikol Pashinyan toppled Sargsyan, Arakelyan has been in Yerevan leading the effort to bring about a similar result in the Armenian church.
The parallels are inescapable: Arakelyan's followers compare him to Pashinyan and see Karekin as a Sargsyan that the church has yet to force out.
Karekin II is indeed, like Sargsyan, extremely unpopular and widely considered corrupt. His predecessor, Karekin I, was respected as a nonpartisan spiritual leader for both Armenians and the large diaspora. But Karekin II 's lavish lifestyle has been difficult to hide in the small country. Plus, he allied himself closely with the ousted Sargsyan, regularly appearing alongside the former president and giving his explicit political support.
Karekin II's rule has been beset by scandals. In 2011, a leaked video showed him in business talks over wine with his Georgian counterpart, Patriarch Ilia II; Karekin’s emboldened tone and mafia-like mannerisms embarrassed many in Armenia.
In 2015, an investigative report revealed that he had a million-dollar Swiss bank account. And in April 2018, a video showed the church leader fawning over a jewel-encrusted crozier presented as a gift by a Russian businessman.
The Catholicos also has been accused of nepotism for consecrating a number of priests and bishops from his native village of Voskehat.
While these criticisms are widespread, the protesters of the “New Armenia, New Patriarch” initiative go further. They endorse a hardline version of Oriental Orthodox Christianity and have criticized Karekin for meeting with “heretics” – namely gay female Anglican bishops and Freemasons – and even accuse him of being secretly married and having children.
Arakelyan is also known to be skeptical of Karekin's rapprochement with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, including Greek and Russian, because of their doctrinal differences with Armenian Christianity, which has intercommunion with the Coptic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches.
Unlike Pashinyan, however, Arakelyan isn't trying to nominate himself for the leadership position.
“It’s an unspoken rule in the history of our church – when a Catholicos loses his mind, the monasteries' abbots have to preserve common sense or fight against heresy,” said Levon Hakopian, a Moscow-based activist who is currently in Armenia to help coordinate the movement.
Hakopian claimed the protest is supported by others among monastic hierarchies and parish priests across the country, but said he couldn’t give names for security reasons: “Look, Father Koryun’s car has been followed, and there were a couple of cars waiting outside our office day and night,” Hakopian said. He said the vehicles’ plates traced back to Voskehat, Karekin’s native village and power base.
While the “New Armenia, New Patriarch” movement is inspired by Pashinyan's “Velvet Revolution” this past spring, it is not of it.
“These protests are directly influenced by the revolution. People realize that protesting isn’t fruitless or necessarily dangerous,” said Karen Aghekian, a Minsk-based editor for Hamatext, an online magazine covering Armenian politics. However, he added, “civil society activists are absolutely indifferent to the church and what’s going on inside of it. Their life depends on fixing politics, the economy, and social issues, and not the church.”
Youth activists who helped topple Sargsyan mostly have mostly ignored the protests. “I’m not at all interested in church life,” said Anush Lalaian, a longtime anti-government protester and now adviser in the Ministry of Diaspora. “I just have no interest in ecclesiastical issues.”
The protesters' confrontational tactics might be another factor limiting their popularity, suggested Hovhannes Igityan, a political commentator and former chairman of parliament’s Committee on Foreign Relations. “I don’t think aggressive actions can lead to the Catholicos’s resignation. Moreover, they can backfire,” said Igityan.
“Yes, the Catholicos of All Armenians perhaps has done a lot wrong and isn’t the best Catholicos in our history, but perpetrating violence and grabbing him by the shirt front is categorically unacceptable for me,” wrote Alen Simonyan, a member of parliament from Pashinyan's Yelk bloc, in a Facebook post.
The ARF Dashnaktsutyun, a party formerly aligned with Sargsyan but which has now sided with Pashinyan, has come out in support of Karekin: “Church-related issues are unacceptable. I don't understand why we are so reserved, thus pushing the society towards confrontation. Those in power should establish law and order in the country,” said Hrant Markarian, the head of the party, on July 18.
Soon after the Gndevank humiliation, the Catholicos moved to defrock Arakelyan. The move was publicly supported by a number of bishops, and Mikael Ajapahyan, bishop of the Shirak diocese, went as far as to denounce the protesters as “morally dead.”
The protesters, meanwhile, are retooling their tactics and suspending street protests, said Hakopian, the Moscow-based activist. “We started by emphasizing Karekin’s lack of authority and his connections to the former regime, but now we plan to publish exposés on his businesses and bank accounts and violations of church canon laws.” Karekin's allies have said the activists have no supporting evidence.
For his part, since being elected Pashinyan has refrained from publicly commenting on the issue.
“I just don’t know what the government or civil society can do here, given the constitutional separation of church and state,” said Igityan. “This is a church issue really.
Grigor Atanesian is a freelance journalist who covers Armenia.
Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:51 AM
Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God help us!!!!!!!!!!
Pashinyan Says He is Shocked at Level of Corruption Revelations
At a more than two and a half hour press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Nikpl Pashinyan expressed shock at the level of corruption in Armenia
YEREVAN—Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday said that he is stunned and shocked over the revelations about the level of corruption in Armenia as various cases continue to unfold across Armenia.
Pashinyan was referencing recent reports by Armenia’s National Security Service that include widespread embezzlement of funds from members affiliated with the previous regime, including allegation of grand theft, tax evasion, attempted murder, some of which have been waged against relatives of former president Serzh Sarkisian.
“I am simply stunned over the information I have received,” Pashinyan told a press conference Friday. “Today I am shocked over the levels of corruption in Armenia.”
Friday’s press conference that lasted more than two and a half hours covered a wide-range of topics, including the Karabakh conflict resolution process and Pashinyan’s reiteration of his assertion that a resolution to the conflict cannot be reached without the participation of Artsakh in the talks.
“This [the level of corruption] is simply unimaginable,” he said. “My harshest speech about corruption ridiculously pales in comparison to the sheer volume of [corruption] which has taken place in Armenia, and is taking place. This is absolutely terrible,” Pashinyan said, adding that since he took office on May 8, he continues being surprised and stunned from the daily reports he receives on the matter.
Pashinyan predicted that such surprising revelation will continue to pour in for another four months, saying that he refuses to believe some of the allegations until concrete evidence is presented to him and new information trickles in.
He claimed that during a recent briefing on corruption cases he was forced to ask officials to stop giving him information. “I’m not ready,” he said “to receive so much information in one day and I want to preserve my mental well-being.”
Pashinyan, whose campaign against his predecessor hinged on promises to fight corruption by the previous regimes, said that while he was well-aware of the lawlessness, he just did not imagine the extent to which some had gone to enrich themselves.
“Imagine a country where the Prime Minister is being shocked every day. It is the same Prime Minister who has constantly called out during his political and journalistic career that the country is being plundered, that there is corruption, lawlessness,” said Pashinyan.
He said until being presented with the evidence he refused “to believe that people can be obscene to such a degree and in sectors where one would not have imagined,” he added.
Posted 26 July 2018 - 10:54 AM
Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանին մեղադրանք է առաջադրվել
2008 թվականի մարտի 1-ից 2-ն ընկած ժամանակահատվածում Երևան քաղաքում տեղի ունեցած իրադարձությունների վերաբերյալ ՀՀ հատուկ քննչական ծառայությունում քննվող քրեական գործով նախաքննության ընթացքում ձեռք բերված ապացույցների բավարար համակցության հիման վրա 2018 թվականի հուլիսի 26-ին Հայաստանի Հանրապետության պաշտոնաթող Նախագահ Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանին մեղադրանք է առաջադրվել ՀՀ քրեական օրենսգրքի 300.1-ին հոդվածի 1-ին մասով այն բանի համար, որ նա այլ անձանց հետ նախնական համաձայնությամբ տապալել է Հայաստանի Հանրապետության սահմանադրական կարգը:
Նույն օրը միջնորդություն է ներկայացվել Երևան քաղաքի ընդհանուր իրավասության առաջին ատյանի դատարան` Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանի նկատմամբ կալանավորումը որպես խափանման միջոց ընտրելու համար:
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