On July 13 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan ended hearing the suit of Margarita Khachatrian, Chairwoman of “Zinvor” (“Soldier”) Association of NGOs, versus “Hraparak” daily founder, “Hraparak Oratert” LLC. As it has been reported, the reason of the suit was the piece that informed about Margarita Khachatrian’s visit to one of the military units, and had appeared in “Hraparak” on April 21, 2011. Head of “Zinvor” demanded to refute the information published in the piece, recompense the damage, made by libel and insult of 2 million AMD (about $ 5,400) and cover the state duty for filing the court. The hearings on the case started on November 10, 2011 (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club report for 2011 at https://ypc.am/about_freedom/ln/eng).
At the July 13 session Margarita Khachatrian dropped the financial claims towards the “Hraparak” founder and is now demanding only to publish a refutation. The court ruling will be released on July 30.
It should also be noted that the contested piece caused an incident at “Hraparak” editorial office on April 21, 2011. Margarita Khachatrian, accompanied by three people, came to the “Hraparak” editorial office to express her indignation with the published piece. According to Armineh Ohanian, the Chief Editor of the daily, while talking with the staff the head of “Zinvor” was free-spoken, threw at them everything that came to hand, trying to strike; as a result they had to call the police. On May 26, 2011 the law enforcement bodies notified the newspaper that criminal proceedings on the case will not be instituted for absence of corpus delicti. “Hraparak” founder appealed this decision at the court of general jurisdiction, which secured the complaint on July 25, 2011. The court decision in favor of “Hraparak” was, in its turn, contested at the RA Criminal Court of Appeal by the supervising prosecutor. On September 1, 2011 the Court of Appeal revoked the complaint, upholding the decision of the court of general jurisdiction. On September 26, 2011 “Hraparak” received a notification telling that Kentron Police Department of Yerevan has instituted criminal proceedings pursuant to the court ruling (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club report for 2011 at https://ypc.am/about_freedom/ln/eng). On March 16, 2012 the daily informed that Kentron Police Department for the second time and for the same reason – absence of corpus delicti, had stopped the investigation on the April 21, 2011 incident at “Hraparak” editorial office.
N.B. Dear readers, please note that YPC Weekly Newsletter will next be issued in early September 2012.