On March 24, court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan started the hearings on the suit of free-lance journalist Gagik Shamshian, accused on part 1 of Article 343 of RA Criminal Code (“Disrespect to Court”). As it has been reported, on August 5, 2008 during a session of the court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan Gagik Shamshian was dismissed from the courtroom upon the order of Judge Gagik Avetisian. At first the journalist was locked in the basement of the court and was later taken to the Kentron Police Department, where he stayed for over two hours. The criminal proceedings were instituted in September, and the charge was brought against journalist on December 24, 2008 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 19-25, 2008).
On the court session of March 24, the defendant objections presented to the judge and the public prosecutor were declined. The next session will be called on March 30.