21 April 2009, 18:00

Armenia: Kocharyan claims 16 million drams from "Aikakan Zhamanak" as moral damage compensation

The family of Robert Kocharyan, the second president of Armenia, who brought an action to the general court of Centre-Nork-Marash community against the oppositional daily newspaper "Aikakan Zhamanak" (Armenian Time) claims compensation moral damage in the sum of 16 million drams (some 40-42 thousand US dollars).

The reason for the suit was a message published in the paper on February 6 that a couple of days before the New Year in Dubai local police arrested Robert Kocharyan's younger son Levon for bad behaviour in public in the state of strong alcoholic intoxication. Together with him three more persons were arrested.

The claim of the Kocharyan family states that the message had nothing to do with reality and demands that the court award the above compensation.

"The discredit of Levon Kocharyan, younger son of the second president, has directly damaged Robert Kocharyan's dignity and good name not only in Armenia, but also abroad," the today's issue of the newspaper quotes the statement of claim.

As to the sum of compensation for the moral damage caused by the publication in "Aikakan Zhamanak", the claim says: "Dissemination of this information pursued the aim to gain profits. First of all, note that the paper issue No. 21 of February 6 was published in 8000 copies, each sold for 100 drams. Thus, the respondent received 80,000 drams of profit. Besides, other media spread the information with reference to 'Aikakan Zhamanak', which also brought revenues to the paper."

As a result, the claimants conclude that dissemination of this sensational material and expenses to defend the family rights made 3,620,000 drams. The moral damage caused by the respondent is evaluated by the Kocharyan family as 12,120,000 drams.

Nikol Pashinyan, editor-in-chief of the newspaper and one of the leaders of the opposition, who is nowadays in search, writes that "it's hard to find a precedent in international practice, when the president of some country claims such a huge compensation from a newspaper."

He insists that the February 6 publication was truthful.

Author: Lilit Ovanisyan; Source: CK correspondent

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