YPC Weekly Newsletter

2004


APPEAL OF “INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS” DECLINED

On September 16 the RA Court of Appeals refused the suit of “Investigative Journalists” NGO versus the Yerevan municipality. As it has been reported, in early July the organization challenged the ruling of the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan of June 21 that refused securing the demand of the plaintiff to the administration of the capital to provide it with documents necessary for journalistic investigation (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, July 2-8, 2004). The documents in question were the resolutions of the municipality of 1997-2003 on the constructions in the public green zone around the National Opera and Ballet Theater. The ruling of the court of primary jurisdiction had the motivation that the organization had not attempted to get the information needed from other state agencies before addressing the municipality, and its inquiry was not specific enough. On their behalf “Investigative Journalists” sent a new inquiry to the municipality, listing all the enterprises of interest that are operating today on the territory around the Opera and Ballet Theater.

At the hearings of the Court of Appeals, the municipality representative read out the response to this query that said in particular: “The document package on the enterprises that use the land is addended by State Register certificates. The State Register certificates the names of the founders of enterprises are not specified, therefore, the information on land allocation to the enterprises specified by you cannot be provided.” Although inquiry was centered not around the names of the enterprise owners, but on the legitimacy of them being allocated the territories, and dismissing the argumentation of the plaintiff on access to information in accordance with the legislation in force in Armenia, the court of secondary jurisdiction refused the appeal of “Investigative Journalists”. The organization announced that it intends to challenge the decision with the RA Court of Cassation.