On June 22 court of general jurisdiction of Achapnyak and Davitashen administrative districts of Yerevan held preliminary session on the suit of attorney Murad Asrian versus the founder of News.am online agency, “Media Consult” LLC. The reason for going to law became the article “Claim against Independent Media Outlet Groundless”, published in News.am on February 4, 2011. The piece contained critics about Murad Asrian, who represented the interests of “Arrhythmic-Cardiological Center of Armenia” LLC in another lawsuit versus News.am. Particularly, the piece reported that the attorney had indicated the improper respondent in the suit (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club report for 2011 at http://ypc.am/about_freedom/ln/eng). Murad Asrian demanded to bind News.am founder to provide him with a right to reply, and compensate the damage for libel with 2 million AMD (about $ 4,800). The preliminary hearings on the case started on April 19, 2012.
At the June 22 session, the demands of the suit were amended. The claim for financial compensation for moral damage remained the same, however the plaintiff specified that he demands 1 million AMD for libel and 1 million – for insult.
The next court session will take place on July 13.