YPC Weekly Newsletter

2010


IJEVAN MUNICIPALITY VERSUS "INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS": THE COURT DECISION IS IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFF THIS TIME

 On July 9 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan reconsidered the suit of Ijevan municipality (Tavush region) versus "Investigative Journalists" NGO and fully secured the demands of the plaintiff. As it has been reported, a year ago, on July 10, 2009, the same court jurisdiction found baseless the plaintiff’s demands to refute the information discrediting the honor, dignity and business reputation of Ijevan Mayor Varuzhan Nersisian – as seen by the city administration to be present in the articles "Whose Pocket Receives Money from Sand Mine?" and "Will the Three Commissions Notice the Illegal Use of Sand?". The articles were published in "Hetq" online publication (founder – "Investigative Journalists") on May 5, and June 23, 2008, respectively, and also printed on May 20 and July 9, 2008, respectively, in the supplement to "Azg" daily, "Transparent Local Self-Government". Besides, the plaintiff demanded that the expenses of 930 thousand AMD made for the attorney services be compensated. During the first examination the court revoked the suit. Ijevan Municipality appealed the decision to the RA Civil Court of Appeal. On November 13, 2009 the Court of Appeal secured the suit and redirected the case to reconsideration by the first court jurisdiction  (see details in Yerevan Press Club Reports "On Freedom of Speech in Armenia" for 2008 and 2009 on YPC website: www.ypc.am in "Studies" Section).

At the session of July 9, 2010 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash held that the information in the abovementioned pieces is untrue and discredits the honor, dignity and business reputation of Ijevan Mayor. In fact, this time the court made a decision in favor of the plaintiff, by obliging the defendant to refute the information and to compensate the expenses of 930 thousand AMD (about $ 2,500) made for the attorney services, as well as to pay the state duty for filling the court by Ijevan municipality.

As the lawyer of the defendant, Karen Mejlumian told YPC, the "Investigative Journalists" intend to appeal this decision with the upper court jurisdiction.