YEREVAN PRESS CLUB WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

NOVEMBER 26 - DECEMBER 2, 2004

HIGHLIGHTS:

SIXTH "PRESS CLUB" SHOW

"INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS" WIN THE CASE AGAINST THE YEREVAN MUNICIPALITY

VERSION OF "HAIKAKAN ZHAMANAK" CAR SELF-IGNITION WAS NOT CONFIRMED


SIXTH "PRESS CLUB" SHOW

On November 29 on the evening air of the Second Armenian TV Channel the
sixth "Press Club" show was issued. The cycle is organized by Yerevan Press
Club under "Strengthening Democracy in South Caucasus by Free Expression"
project, implemented jointly with "Article 19" international organization
with the support of Open Society Institute.

The heads of the leading media and journalistic associations of Armenia
discussed the issue of reliable information and trustworthiness of media.
The second topic was the Karabagh conflict, in particular, the events that
drew the greatest attention of the media during that past days: the draft
resolution introduced to the discussion of the UN General Assembly upon the
proposal of Azerbaijan "On the Situation on Occupied Territories of
Azerbaijan", and the report on Mountainous Karabagh prepared by the reporter
of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe David Atkinson and
discussed at the PACE Politics Committee.

"INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS" WIN THE CASE AGAINST THE YEREVAN MUNICIPALITY

On December 1 the RA Court of Appeals secured the suit of "Investigative
Journalists" NGO versus the Yerevan municipality. The court obliged the
municipality to provide the resolutions passed by the city administration in
1997-2003 on construction of the green zone around the National Opera and
Ballet Theater, necessary for the journalistic investigation. The demand of
the plaintiff had previously been rejected by the courts of primary and
secondary jurisdiction, and in late October the RA Court of Cassation
redirected the case for the consideration of the Court of Appeals in a new
composition (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, October 29 - November 4, 2004).

VERSION OF "HAIKAKAN ZHAMANAK" CAR SELF-IGNITION WAS NOT CONFIRMED

On November 29 the State Fire Service of the RA Department of Emergencies
provided "Haikakan Zhamanak" daily with a final expert assessment of the
reasons why the car owned by the newspaper and used by the Chief Editor
Nikol Pashinian went on fire. As it has been reported, the fire occurred on
the evening of November 22 and by the preliminary assessment of the experts
was caused by a malfunction of the battery wires in the car. Meanwhile,
Nikol Pashinian qualified the incident as intentional, directed against him
personally and suggested that a well-known businessman and RA National
Assembly deputy Gagik Tsarukian was involved in it (see details in YPC
Weekly Newsletter, November 19-25, 2004).

On November 30 "Haikakan Zhamanak" published extracts from the expert
assessment above. According to the document, the experts had considered two
reasons for the ignition, an electrotechnical malfunction and outside
intervention, and arrived at the conclusion that "the probable reason for
the fire was the heat impact of an open fire source in presence of flammable
substances". As to the earlier version of ignition due to battery wire
malfunction, in the opinion of experts, it is of little probability.

Thus, the supposition of self-ignition of the car is actually rejected. At
the same time, "Haikakan Zhamanak" believes there are certain deficiencies
in the assessment: the phrasings are obscure, the mechanism of the ignition
is not explained. For this reason the representative of the editorial office
refused to sign the document.

The assessment of the Fire Service is sent to an appropriate investigation
body which is now to decide whether criminal proceedings will be instituted.


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Editor of YPC Newsletter - Elina POGHOSBEKIAN
____________________________________________
Yerevan Press Club
9B, Ghazar Parpetsi str.
375007, Yerevan, Armenia
Tel.: (+ 374 1) 53 00 67; 53 35 41; 53 76 62
Fax: (+374 1) 53 56 61
E-mail: [email protected]
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