YPC Weekly Newsletter

2011


HEARINGS ON THE SUIT OF ROBERT KOCHARIAN’S FAMILY VERSUS “ZHAMANAK” FOUNDER CONTINUE

On March 23 the court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan continued the hearings on the suit of the spouse and the son of the Second President of Armenia Robert Kocharian, Bella and Sedrak Kocharians, versus “Skizb Media Kentron” LLC, founder and publisher of “Zhamanak” daily. As it has been reported, the reason of the suit became the pieces published in “Zhamanak” on September 25, September 29 and October 7, 2010. The articles dealt with a number of companies, which were reportedly owned by the Kocharians’ family or managed through the third parties. The representative of Kocharians’ family had sent a letter to the daily’s founder, demanding to come up with a refutation. On October 28, 2010 “Zhamanak” published a piece, “Kocharian’s Heart Desires a Refutation”. Considering that the piece cannot be a refutation, as it still contained discrediting information, the plaintiffs filed the court, demanding to bind “Zhamanak” to refute the information damaging the honor, dignity and business reputation of Bella and Sedrak Kocharians, exact 3 million AMD (about $ 8,200) from the defendant as compensation for libel and defamation, as well as compensate the court expenses of 3 million AMD (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 10-16, 2010).

The hearings on the case started on February 25, 2011. At the court session the founder of “Zhamanak” suggested that the plaintiffs develop the text of the refutation, expressing its readiness to publish it. The refutation appeared in “Zhamanak” on March 10, 2011 and was attended by an editorial comment. This form of presentation did not satisfy the plaintiffs, and the parties did not come to an agreement.

At the session of March 23 the plaintiffs presented documents as a ground for their demands on compensating the moral damage and the court expenses.

The next court session is appointed on April 7.