On June 8 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan released the judgment on the suit of Tigran Arzakantsian, RA National Assembly MP, member of Republican Party of Armenia faction, versus founder and publisher of “Yerkir” daily, “’Yerkir’ Editorial Office” LLC. As it has been reported, the hearings on the case had started on March 25. The reason of the suit became the piece about Tigran Arzakantsian, appeared in “Yerkir” on January 13, 2011 within the column “131 Faces and the Masks” (the given cycle presents the Armenian MPs in alphabetical order). The plaintiff demanded to refute the information discrediting his honor and dignity, oblige the daily to publish the court decision on the case, exact 3 million AMD (about $ 8,200) from the respondent as a compensation for libel and defamation, as well as compensate the court expenses of 568,000 AMD (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 25-31, 2011).
The court resolved to secure the suit of Tigran Arzakantsian partially: the “Yerkir” founder must publish in the newspaper the operative part of the judgment, pay 200,000 AMD as a compensation for insult, as well as pay off the court expenses of 88,000 AMD. As Bagrat Yesayan, Chief Editor of “Yerkir” daily, informed YPC, the court qualified as an insult the word “cub”, which was employed in the abovementioned piece with reference to the former RA Prime-Minister Hrant Bagratian. In several pieces the daily has repeatedly (particularly, in the issues of March 26 and April 23, 2011) quoted the written reply of Hrant Bagratian, who told that he had not said anything like that about Tigran Arzakantsian. However, according to “Yerkir”’s head, this fact was not acknowledged sufficient: the court considered that before publishing the contested article, the daily should have checked and precised the information cited in it.
The Chief Editor of “Yerkir” also noted that the founder of the daily will appeal the judgment.