At the March 23 trial in which Lernapat Mayor Vano Yeghiazaryan is suing Hetq reporter Andrineh Torosyan for libel, the plaintiff declared that since the defendant was a former student of his, the reporter had deliberately sought to defame him.
Yeghiazaryan claimed that the reason is that Torosyan wanted to be employed as a teacher at the Vanadzor Pedagogical Institute and failed to make the grade. Thus, he said, the reporter was out to exact revenge from her former teachers.
Yeghiazaryan then started a lengthy narrative as to how the reporter was hounding him and following his goings and comings.
The Lernapat mayor argued that Torosyan seemed to be fixated in demeaning his reputation and this was apparent in her articles about his activities.
One of defense attorneys, Lusineh Hakobyan, reminded Yeghiazaryan that Torosyan was a reporter working for the Investigative Journalists NGO and that it was quite normal for her to be interested in the affairs of a village mayor.
Reporters, especially investigative ones, are tasked with digging for information that relates to public affairs, Hakobyan noted.
Judge Varduhie Hovnanyan didn’t allow the defense to question Yeghiazaryan as to how he defines defamation and what exactly in Torosyan’s article did he regard as libellous.
Hovnanyan noted that the interrogation stage of the trial had already been conducted.
The judge also disallowed that a supplemental document, a list of the ten court cases filed by Yeghiazaryan against village residents, presented by the defense be attached to the case file.
The next trial date is scheduled for April 14.
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