YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


THE SUIT OF “SHANT” VERSUS “ZHAMANAK-YEREVAN” REJECTED

On May 18 the RA Commercial Court completed the hearings on the case of the
founder of “Shant” TV company, “Shant” LLC, versus the founder of “Zhamanak-Yerevan”
daily, “Media Skizb Kentron” LLC. The reason for the court appeal was the article
“Najarian is Sorry”, published by “Zhamanak-Yerevan” on December 13, 2006. In
the opinion of the plaintiff, the publication contained untrue information,
discrediting to the honor and the business reputation of the TV company and
its head Arthur Yezekian. The plaintiff demanded that the newspaper publish
a refutation.

In the article mentioned above it was said, in particular, that Arthur Yezekian
is a mason and is a member of Rotari mason club. In the issue of December 21,
2006 the editorial office of “Zhamanak-Yerevan” informed that on December 20
it had received a letter from “Shant” representative demanding to refute the
false information that may “harm the honor and the business reputation of ‘Shant’
TV company and its director Artur Yezekian”. Having quoted the letter, the newspaper
noted it refutes the information “with all its heart”. “Shant”, on its behalf,
demanded to refute the information in a proper way (in accordance with the RA
Law “On Mass Communication”) and publish the text of the refutation the TV company
had prepared. This text was published in “Zhamanak-Yerevan” on January 16, 2007
under the heading of “Not a Mason, but Pliers Instead”. Apologizing to the readers
for “misinforming them”, the daily stated at the same time that the “Shant”
head is a tool at the hands of Armenian authorities.

On February 15 the founder of “Shant” filed a suit with the RA Commercial Court.
The hearings started on March 1.

At the session of May 18 the Commercial Court rejected the suit. The ruling
noted that the no information discrediting to the TV company was present in
the publication of “Zhamanak-Yerevan”. As to the demand of the plaintiff to
refute the information about the TV company director Arthur Yezekian, the cases,
involving natural persons, are out of the competence of the Commercial Court,
i.e., should be considered by the court of general jurisdiction.