YPC Weekly Newsletter

2008


COURT STARTED HEARINGS OF THE CASE OF IJEVAN MUNICIPALITY VERSUS “INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS”

On September 29 hearings on the case of Ijevan municipality (Tavush region)
versus “Investigative Journalists” NGO, the founder of “Hetq” on-line, started
in the Civil Court of Yerevan. The plaintiff demands to refute the information
discrediting to honor, dignity and business reputation of Ijevan Mayor Varuzhan
Nersisian – as seen by the city administration to be present in the article
of “Hetq” correspondent in Tavush region Voskan Sargsian “Whose Pocket
Receives Money from Sand Mine?”. The article was published in “Hetq” on May
5, 2008, and also printed on May 20, 2008, in a supplement to “Azg” daily, “Transparent
Local Self-Government”, produced by “Investigative Journalists” (see YPC Weekly
Newsletter, July 4-10, 2008).
The plaintiff also demanded that the respondent refund his expenses for lawyer’s
legal services in the amount of 930 thousand drams (approximately $ 3,100).

On the hearing of September 29, Ijevan municipality brought to the court another
suit as well demanding to refute also the information present in the article
“Will the Three Commissions Notice the Illegal Use of Sand?” (published
in “Hetq” on June 23, 2008, and in the supplement to “Azg” “Transparent Local
Self-Government” on July 9, 2008). The judge provided the respondent time to
prepare objections to the new suit and scheduled the next hearing for October
13.

Meanwhile, the “Investigative Journalists”, in their turn, applied to the RA
Administrative Court with a suit against Ijevan municipality. In September the
suit was taken over for proceedings. On July 2, 2008 “Investigative Journalists”
required Ijevan municipal administration to give the copies of the session protocol
of May 23, 2008 and the decision of the Council of Elderly to allot 930 thousand
drams from the city budget to cover the expenses of lawyer’s legal services
for the above-mentioned suit versus “Investigative Journalists”. In the written
reply of Ijevan Mayor of July 8, 2008, it was said that required information
can be provided only by the end of the legal proceedings. “Investigative Journalists”
demanded to oblige the administration of Ijevan to give them the information
and refund their expenses for lawyer’s legal services in the amount of 114 thousand
drams (approximately $ 380).