YPC Weekly Newsletter

2014

SEPTEMBER 15-21

LAWYER SUES JOURNALIST

Lawyer Ruben Baloyan filed a lawsuit against Zhanna Aleksanian, the head of “Journalists for Human Rights” NGO, “FactInfo” news agency  reports.

The matter of the dispute was the piece by Zhanna Aleksanian, “Hey, I’m Talking to You As a Man-to-Man, Not As a Lawyer”, published on July 21, 2014 on the website of “Journalists for Human Rights”. The piece deals with an incident which occurred in Abovyan town, on July 18, near the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kotayk Region, where proceedings in a high-profile case of a car accident were taking place. The defendant in the case is famous actor Vardan Petrosian, who crashed his car to another vehicle causing death of two passengers. According to the piece, after a consecutive hearing finished, Ruben Baloyan, lawyer of the plaintiffs, behaved aggressively towards Nikolay Baghdasarian, lawyer of Vardan Petrosian, and intimidated him telling the phrase, subsequently taken as the headline for the disputed piece. Then the victims approached Nikolay Baghdasarian and the relatives of the actor, insulting them. The bailiffs prevented the verbal altercation from turning into a fistfight. On July 22, the NGO’s website posted the footage of the incident.

On the same day, July 22, the RA Chamber of Advocates initiated disciplinary proceedings against Ruben Baloyan on the basis of the piece by Zhanna Aleksanian.

On July 25, “Journalists for Human Rights” published the letter by Ruben Baloyan demanding refutation. The letter was accompanied by an editorial comment, in which Zhanna Aleksanian confirmed that she was not going to backdown on what she wrote.

On August 22, Ruben Baloyan appealed to the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan with the defamation lawsuit against Zhanna Aleksanian. “Journalists for Human Rights” NGO is involved in the case as a third party. The plaintiff demands the respondent to publish a refutation. The lawsuit was accepted on August 25. The court hearing is scheduled for November 24.