Armenia’s Former President Robert Kocharian is suing pro-opposition daily “Hraparak”, adding to a list of recent trials he and his family have entered in a bid to silence all kinds of critical remarks about the ex-president.
Kocharian, who is thought to be one of the richest men in Armenia, is seeking 6 million drams ($16,200) in damages for a February 12 article which the ex-president claims insulted his “dignity and honor.” This is the maximum amount allowed by law. This legal action comes as another Yerevan judge is expected to rule soon on Kocharian’s and his family’s libel suit against the pro-opposition “Zhamanak” daily, where they are again seeking 6 million drams in damages. And back in 2009 Kocharian’s second son Levon won a court battle with another opposition daily, “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper was fined by 3.6 million drams.
Armenian media are full of low-quality, badly sourced, gossip-filled articles. Any politician in Armenian could file hundreds of trials against newspapers. And I actually feel it could be beneficial to see some trials against media, which would make them more responsible.
However, Kocharian’s case is different with its almost frantic consistency of uprooting all sort of criticism.
While still a president and enjoying nearly authoritarian rule over Armenia, Kocharian once said that he’s the “only man” in this country. That statement alone would be enough to get one wondering about the psychological portrait of this “only man.”
His recent crusade against critical media open up new horizons for the wondering mind…