YPC Weekly Newsletter

2011


THE DECISION ON THE SUIT OF ROBERT KOCHARIAN’S FAMILY VERSUS “ZHAMANAK” FOUNDER WAS NOT RELEASED. THE COURT TAKES A TIME-OUT

On May 5 the court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan was to release the decision 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 pay off the court expenses of 3 million AMD. The court hearing started on February 25, 2011, where the founder of “Zhamanak” suggested that the plaintiffs develop the text of the refutation. The refutation appeared in “Zhamanak” on March 10, 2011 but 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 submitted documents as a ground for their demands on compensating the moral damage and the court expenses (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 18-24, 2011).

The hearings on the case finished on April 20. It was announced that the court decision would be released on May 5. Meanwhile, this did not happen on the appointed date. The parties were informed that the court will start a new consideration of the case due to the necessity of additional examination of facts. Even though such an outcome is authorized by law, it remains unclear, why the court required an additional time after about three months of litigation?

The next session is appointed on May 20.