On February 17 court of general jurisdiction of Shirak region released the judgment on the litigation between Gyumri Municipality and founder of “GALA” TV company, “CHAP” LLC, regarding the right of the “GALA” to use the city TV tower. As it has been reported, the litigation on the case started on January 14, 2009 in line with the October 31, 2008 ruling of the RA Court of Cassation, which abolished the decision of the court of primary jurisdiction of February 29, 2008. According to that decision, “GALA” founder was to stop using the city TV tower and to dissemble the equipment installed on it. The Court of Cassation resolved that the case should be redirected for reconsideration by the court of general jurisdiction of Shirak region, which had secured the motion of the defendant on technical court assessment of the tower at the very first session (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club reports for 2008 and 2009 on www.ypc.am in “Media Reports” section). On May 18, 2010, only a year and four months after the assignment of the court assessment, the representatives of RA Expertise Center visited “GALA” for examining the TV tower; the court hearings resumed on June 25, 2010 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 25 – July 1, 2010).
At the session of February 17 the court obliged the “GALA” founder to stop using the city TV tower and to dissemble the equipment installed on it within a month.
In the statement, released on the same day, February 17, “GALA” considered this decision as “obviously biased”, as another proof of “the increasing campaign of the authorities versus independent media”. “GALA” affirmed its readiness to strive for freedom of expression and for its right to provide the public with objective information.