On October 12 RA Civil Court of Appeal revoked the application of Grisha Balasanian, correspondent of “Hetq”, the newspaper of “Investigative Journalists” NGO. The journalist had contested the ruling of the court of general jurisdiction on the suit versus Ruben Hayrapetian, RA National Assembly MP and Chairman of the Football Federation of Armenia. As it has been reported, on February 2, 2011 Grisha Balasanian had called Ruben Hayrapetian on his mobile phone for getting some comments. In reply the MP asked whether the journalist had a recorder on, and after an affirmative answer he started to swear at Grisha Balasanian. By assessing this conduct as impeding the legitimate professional activities of the journalist (Article 164 of RA Criminal Code), on February 3 “Hetq” addressed a communication on a crime to the RA General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepian, by enclosing the telephone records to it. On February 27 the Special Investigative Service informed that the criminal proceedings versus Ruben Hayrapetian will not be instituted for absence of corpus delicti. As a result, Grisha Balasanian filed a civil suit on protection of the honor and dignity and compensation of moral damage, demanding to oblige the MP to present apologies, pay off a compensation of 1 million AMD (more than $ 2,700), as well as cover the court expenses. On June 7 the court of general jurisdiction of Avan and Nor Nork administrative districts of Yerevan revoked the suit as baseless, “in view of absence of materials norms and proofs” (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 3-9, 2011).
As Grisha Balasanian informed YPC, he intends to contest the ruling of the Court of Appeal at the RA Court of Cassation.