This week the public address of Gevorg Aghajanian, the father of Karabagh journalist Vahram Aghajanian, to the President of Mountainous Karabagh Arkadiy Ghukasian was disseminated. The address includes the demand to reconsider the sentence given to Vahram Aghajanian. In April 2000 the MK court authorities sentenced the correspondent of “10th Nahang” weekly to 1-year imprisonment with 2-year deferral (see the details in the annual report on journalists’ right violations in year 2000 by the Yerevan Press Club Commission on protection of freedom of speech).
Answering the questions of the readers of “Golos Armenii” newspaper (under the traditional heading “Hot Line”, “GA”, March 22, 2001), the MK President expressed his attitude to the case of the sentenced journalist, saying, in particular, that “the punishment of imprisonment was too severe and inadequate to the offense committed”. As to the decision of the MK Supreme Court on sentence deferral, according to Arkadiy Ghukasian, this decision may also be appealed. At the same time, referring to the address of Gevorg Aghajanian mentioned above, Ghukasian declared that it is beyond his authority to reconsider the decisions of court bodies. “My utmost authority is to make a decision of pardon, but not to evaluate the Court”, he said. The President also mentioned that none of the OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen requested him or other officials to reconsider the case. “…Nothing of the kind happened, and could ever happen. Similar issues are beyond the competence of these diplomats”, Ghukasian stressed.