Former President Kocharian’s Family Sues Newspaper For Libel

Armenia -- Former President Robert Kocharian with his wife and children.
Armenia -- Former President Robert Kocharian with his wife and children.

Armenia’s former President Robert Kocharian and his family have filed a libel suit against a pro-opposition newspaper “Zhamanak” over series of reports published in September, claiming ex-president is involved in large-scale imports of pharmaceuticals and medication trade via a large chain of drug-stores. Citing an unnamed source, “Zhamanak” daily also alleged that Kocharian’s older son Sedrak has purchased a diamond mine in India.

Kocharian and his family members have dismissed the reports as false and sued the paper demanding 6 million drams ($16,700) in compensatory damages.

In October the paper published retractions sent by the Kocharian family, along with newspaper’s “explanatory” notes. “Zhamanak” editor Arman Babajanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service, that the family was angered by those background notes.

“According to the Kocharians’ lawyer, we insulted the family for a second time by reminding our readers what the issue is all about,” Babajanian said, adding that his newspaper is determined to fight back in court.

Last year Kocharian family won in a similar case against a pro-opposition daily “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The newspaper had to pay 3.6 million drams in compensations for alleging that Kocharian’s younger son, Levon, provoked a drunken brawl in the United Arab Emirates. The paper, which boasts the highest daily circulation in Armenia, called the verdict “unfounded and illegal.”

Both “Zhamanak” and “Haykakan Zhamanak” are highly pro-opposition dailies, supportive of Armenia’s First President Levon Ter-Petrosian, Kocharian’s predecessor and most bitter foe.

Admittedly, both newspapers, as most other media in Armenia, are quick to publish stories based on “unnamed sources,” which often turn out to be simple games of imagination.

Kocharian, on the other hand, is the President who shut down “A1plus” independent TV and seriously degraded the situation with freedom of speech in this country.

Source: RFE/RL

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7 thoughts on “Former President Kocharian’s Family Sues Newspaper For Libel

  1. I wonder why they didn’t sue that Russian newspaper that published more severe business dealings and abot $1 billion plus wealth of Kocharian family. Probably they couldnt afford a Russia based lawyer.

    1. @payqar
      I dont believe kocharyans are even near 1 billion (or plus)
      If dodi’s wealth is speculated between 250-500 mill
      How can kocharyans be near or 1billion+ ?
      I would at best put kocharyans overall net wealth at just under or over 100 mill. Of course this is pure speculation, no one outside of kocharyan family would know the exact numbers, other than dodi himself who helped create their wealth.
      Knowing his son levon and his extravagant posh luxurious lifestyle, if his daddy did have 1 billion dollars (lets say half of it in cash), levon would be more open to showing it off more lavishly in terms of material things (cars, clothes, homes, etc) and even buying a huge luxurious resort in Italy. which I heard thru grapevine that kocharyan could’nt afford to buy it. I mean really if you have a billion dollars wealth, how expensive can 1 Italian luxury resort be that you can’t afford to buy it? the most expensive residence in Italy is $100 million. so, if you are a billionaire then dropping-investing 10% of your wealth into something tangible as a physical structure that creates equity/profit for you should be no problem

      1. The question is not about the exact amount. The question is that if they are so sensitive towards such things why they didnt sue the Russian newspaper?

        1. @payqar
          because kocharyans know better than to go after the hand that FEEDS their greed & corruption. the ruskies own & rule Hayastan (for the most part) so, why would a wealthy powerful family from Hayastan want to wage war against the country that made them into who they are today? its easy to pick a fight with in our own ppl in our own homeland, but pick a fight with the ruskies either in moskva or even in Yerevan and you’ll see what happens to you. as much as I dislike ruskies, I know better not to mess with them. even with in my own homeland. russia is one of those what we call in america: a frienemy (friend + enemy)
          even if one of the gor gor davachan spyurrq papers in LA, NYC, PARIS, BEIRUT, MONTEAL, and else where published the same thing or bashed kocharyan family (which they never will) kocharyan would’nt go after them either. why wage a war on the hand that helps FUND your personal bank account….ahem ahem: HIMNADRAM

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