YPC Weekly Newsletter

2011


“A1+” VERSUS NCTR: FOUNDER OF “ARMNEWS” DID NOT APPEAR BEFORE THE COURT

On June 10 a session on the suit of “A1+” TV company founder, “Meltex” LLC, versus National Commission on Television and Radio was held at the RA Administrative Court. As it has been reported, on February 21 “Meltex” contested the results of digital broadcast licensing competition No.11. The founders of “A1+” and “ArmNews” TV companies were opponents in this competition (the latter became the winner). The NCTR December 16, 2010 decision on competition No.11 noted that the financial means, claimed by “Meltex” LLC, “cannot be sufficient, given that the significant part of the supporting documents on the financial assistance (…) is forged and unjustified”. Namely, this fact rendered impossible for “A1+” to implement a complete broadcast in the digital network in Yerevan, assured the NCTR.  Assessing this justification as forced and biased, “Meltex” addressed the court demanding to restore its violated rights and nullify the NCTR decision on competition No.11. At the hearings, started on May 11, 2011, the Court secured the plaintiff’s motion on impleading “ArmNews” CJSC, founder of “ArmNews” TV channel, as a third party in the case (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 6-12, 2011).

At the session of June 10 the judge announced that the notice about the date of the session addressed to the legal address of “ArmNews” CJSC came back. This is conditioned by the fact that de facto the party resides in another place. However, later the  “ArmNews” founder was notified, but instead of appearing before court it sent a letter. The plaintiff and the respondent requested the court to grant some time for reviewing the letter. The next session will be held on July 8.

Meanwhile, on June 10 the Resolution CM/ResDH(2011)39 on execution of the June 17, 2008 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the case of “Meltex” LLC versus Republic of Armenia was released. The Resolution was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on June 8, 2011 at the 1115th Meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies. The document stresses that the Committee of Ministers, having examined the measures taken by the respondent state “decides to close the examination of this case” (see the full Resolution text on the CoE Committee of Ministers website https://wcd.coe.int/wcd/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CM/Del/Dec%282011%291115&Language=lanEnglish&Ver=volres&Site=CM&BackColorInternet=DBDCF2&BackColorIntranet=FDC864&BackColorLogged=FDC864). As it has been reported, the refusals to grant a broadcast license to “Meltex” LLC were recognized by ECHR to be a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, i.e., of the right of the applicant to freely impart information and ideas (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 13-19, 2008).

According to the “A1+” head Mesrop Movsesian, the ECHR ruling was not implemented: in fact, except for paying the material compensation, Armenia had to undertake open and transparent broadcast licensing competition. Nonetheless, these terms were not ensured during the digital broadcast licensing competitions held by NCTR in 2010, thereby the founder of “A1+” appealed against the NCTR decision on competition No.11, emphasized Mesrop Movsesian.