October 20
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Armenian News - presents a daily digest of Armenia’s top news as of 25.06.2019:

·       Judge Armen Danielyan of the Criminal Court of Appeal examining the appeals of second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and other ex-officials, returned Tuesday from the consultation room and rendered a decision to uphold the appeals of prosecutor Petrosyan and the representatives of the victims and their legal successors, overturn the May 18 decision of Judge Davit Grigoryan to release Kocharyan from custody, eliminate the letter of pledge selected as a preventive measure for Kocharyan and select custody as a preventive measure.

Second President Robert Kocharyan is charged with overthrowing the constitutional order in Armenia in connection with the tragic events that occurred in Yerevan in March 2008, and taking a particularly large bribe.

·       The Venice Commission authorized the preparation of an urgent opinion on the reform of the judicial code of Armenia. The decision was made during the Plenary Session of the Venice Commission on June 21-22.

The document released as a result of the session says, the Commission was informed on recent constitutional developments in Armenia, including on the recent public declarations regarding the sitting members of the Constitutional Court. The Commission asked the president to follow the situation closely with a view to making, if appropriate, a public statement in this respect.

·       The Armenian parliament adopted the notorious package of tax reforms in the second reading on Tuesday.

From January 1, 2020, Armenia will switch to a new tax system: the tax on income, regardless of the size of wages, will be set at 23%. And until 2023, the rate will gradually decrease to 20%. At the same time, the Government envisages a gradual return to the previous conditions of the accumulative pension system, while citizens will deduct not 2.5%, but 5%.

·       PACE held a vote on Tuesday on return of Russian delegation to PACE. A total of 118 out of 190 parliamentarians were in favor of the resolution, 62 voted against, 10 abstained.

The MP from My Step ruling politcial force Hovhannes Igityan abstained from the voting, however the resolution was supported by opposition MPs from Prosperous Armenia Party Naira Zohrabyan and Bright Armenia party Edmon Marukyan. By the way, the head of Armenian delegation to PACE Ruben Rubinyan voted against the resolution, but later explained that his vote was registered as a vote “against”, not “in favor”, and he made a statement on this during the plenary session of the PACE today which was attached to the minutes of the session.

·       Upon the decision of Judge Lilit Sargsyan of Yerevan city court, the proceedings of the case of Robert Kocharyan vs Nikol Pashinyan has been terminated based on fact that the plaintiff discontionued the claim. The court published its decision on Tuesday and decided to confiscate AMD 200,000 from the plaintiff as compensation for court costs.

Recall, on September 17, 2018, second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan applied to a Yerevan city court with the demand to defend his honor and dignity from publicly expressed slander after the statements of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan.

·       The disinformation spread by the Azerbaijani side outside this framework leads to the conclusion that Azerbaijan does not intend to fulfill these calls and proposals of the co-chairs, said spokeswoman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry Anna Naghdalyan, commenting on the latest statements of the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov after the meeting of the FMs in Washington.

According to her, such an approach is destructive and devalues the seriousness of the peace process.