YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


300 THOUSAND AMD FOR LIBELING AND INSULTING THE HEAD OF “ALM”

On February 14 the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash
communities of Yerevan finished hearing the case of the professor of Yerevan
State Institute of Theater and Cinema, director Armen Mazmanian, charged with
libel and insult of the head of “ALM” TV company Tigran Karapetian. As it has
been reported, the hearing on the case started on December 14, 2006. The criminal
proceedings were instituted on August 23, 2006 by the Prosecutor’s Office of
Yerevan basing on the appeal of Tigran Karapetian, filed with the RA General
Prosecutor’s Office on July 21. The reason for the appeal were the statements
that Armen Mazmanian made about Tigran Karapetian in the program of “ARMENAKOB”
TV company “Word With No Tie On”, aired on July 18, 2006. According to the charge
statement, Armen Mazmanian has called the “ALM” head “a populist parrot, semi-ignorant,
a pickpocket” and announced that while residing in Volgograd, Tigran Karapetian
was convicted for “sexual abuse of minors”. The appeal of Tigran Karapetian
had a videotape of the program enclosed. The investigation on the case was completed
on October 23. Armen Mazmanian was charged with Part 1, Article 135 (“Libel”)
and Part 1, Article 136 (“Insult”) of the RA Criminal Code, stipulating penal
sanctions (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, December
8-14, 2006
).

At the session of February 14 the court found Armen Mazmanian guilty on both
articles and sentenced him to a penalty of 300,000 AMD (over $ 800).

As YPC was told by Armen Mazmanian’s attorney Haik Halumian, they intend to
challenge the sentence with the RA Court of Appeals.