YPC Weekly Newsletter

2001


THE SUIT AGAINST "ARARAT" NEWSPAPER RENEWED

On June 29, at the court of primary jurisdiction of Masis, Ararat region, the suit on the protection of dignity and honor brought up by Marineh Gabrielian against the regional newspaper “Ararat” was renewed (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 9-15, 2001).

In June last year, when Marineh Gabrielian was running for the position of the village leader, “Ararat” newspaper published a letter signed by 115 villagers. The letter contained information that compromised Ms. Gabrielian’s reputation. In a few months she appealed to the court so as to induce the edition to publish a refutation. Yet, neither in the suit itself, nor during the proceedings did the plaintiff point out which part of the information in the letter is invalid and must be refuted.

The suit procrastinated for several months. Ms. Gabrielian was either absent at the sessions, or challenged the judge. The plaintiff did not attend the court session on June 15 either, failing to give reasons for her absence.

Under these circumstances Judge Tatul Poghosian, based on Article 103 of the RA Civil Judicial Code decided to dismiss the suit. On her part Marineh Gabrielian resorted to the right to appeal to the court of primary jurisdiction to recommence the hearings.

However, the plaintiff did not appear at the session of June 29 either. Her representatives challenged the second judge, too. The proceedings were interrupted to discuss the issue with the Chairman of the court of primary jurisdiction of Ararat region.

Meanwhile, the journalistic community is concerned over two particulars: first, the extremely tolerant attitude of the court towards the whims of Ms. Gabrielian, who has been trying to settle her grudge against “Ararat” newspaper by means of courts, having no serious arguments in her favor, and, secondly, the negligence towards the fact that the terms and the procedure of the refutation as stipulated by the RA Law “On Press and Other Media Outlets” were initially violated. Meanwhile, the suit is expected to proceed…