YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


THE SUIT OF GAGIK SHAMSHIAN VERSUS THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF EREBUNI AND NUBARASHEN COMMUNITIES REFUSED

On February 5 the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities
of Yerevan refused securing the suit of free-lance correspondent of “Chorrord
Ishkhanutiun” and “Aravot” newspapers versus the Prosecutor’s Office of Erebuni
and Nubarashen communities of Yerevan. The suit challenged the decision of the
Prosecutor’s Office, made on November 10, 2006, to stop investigating into the
attack on Gagik Shamshian, committed on July 12, 2006. Besides, the plaintiff
demanded the court to solve the issue of providing him with the copies of investigation
materials. According to Gagik Shamshian, he addressed the Prosecutor’s Office
of Erebuni and Nubarashen communities with a request to provide him with copies
and received the following answer: “Bring a copier, and you will have the copies.”

As reported, on July 12 Gagik Shamshian, who then resided in Nubarashen, was
harassed by the family and associates of Nubarashen community head Mher Hovhannisian
due to the article, previously published in “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun” (the publication
told, in particular, about two relatives of Nubarashen community head, charged
with robbery at one of Yerevan banks). The Prosecutor’s Office of Erebuni and
Nubarashen instituted criminal proceedings by Article 164 (“Impeding the legitimate
professional activities of a journalist”), Part 1 of Article 176 (“Robbery”)
and Part 3 of Article 258 (“Public Disorder”) of the RA Criminal Code. However,
on November 10, 2006 the investigation of the case was stopped due to the lack
of “sufficient evidence proving corpus delicti in the actions of the suspects”
(see YPC Weekly Newsletter, November
10-16, 2006
).

As YPC was told by Gagik Shamshian’s attorney Zaruhi Postanjian, the court
declined the suit on the grounds that the investigation is not to be resumed.
According to the attorney, the court took no notice of the other demand of the
suit – to solve the issue of providing document copies. Zaruhi Postanjian said
she was going to challenge the decision of the court of primary jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, on February 8 the court of primary jurisdiction of Erebuni and Nubarashen
communities of Yerevan started hearing the case versus Gagik Shamshian himself.
As it has been reported, the criminal proceedings against the journalist were
instituted on August 3, 2006 basing on a number of appeals from citizens. The
Erebuni Investigative Division of the Main Investigative Department of the RA
Police charged Gagik Shamshian with Part 1 of Article 136 (“Insult”),
Parts 1 and 2 of Article 178 (“Cheating”) and Part 1 of Article 182
(“Extortion”) of the RA Criminal Code. The journalist did not plead guilty on
any of the episodes (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, November
10-16, 2006
).