Friday, 21 September

American-Armenian Businessman Threatens “Hetq” Reporter Over “Metal Prince” Article

American businessman Serob Ter-Poghosyan, president and owner of Metal Prince, threatened Larisa Paremuzyan, a "Hetq" investigative reporter based in Lori who penned the article, "Shamlough in Peril: "Metal Prince" Mining Operations Has Townsfolk Up In Arms", that appeared in the October 5 edition of "Hetq". Prior to a meeting that the reporter arranged in Yerevan to hear Mr. Ter-Poghosyan’s side of the story, the irate mine owner called up Ms. Paremuzyan, threatened and insulted her and said that "People can wipe their backside with that newspaper of yours." What got Mr. Ter-Poghosyan hot under the collar was the fact that reporter Paremuzyan stated that Metal Prince has been operating a copper mine for the past year in the town of Shamlough without paying a penny in tax to the municipality and that pit blasting is driving local residents crazy from fear. On October 9, reporter Paremuzyan telephoned Mr. Ter-Poghosyan to hear what he had to say regarding the allegations raised in the article. He replied that he would be travelling to Yerevan and a meeting was arranged for 5 p.m. the following Tuesday at the Erebuni Hotel where the Metal Prince office is located. Twenty minutes before the arranged meeting was to take place, Mr. Ter-Poghosyan telephoned the reporter and that’s when the American-Armenian businessman went off the deep-end. I guess he thought he would do a "number" on the reporter by inviting her to Yerevan, to his office, and then not showing up. Perhaps, this is the etiquette Mr. Ter-Poghosyan employs when confronted with probing reporters in the United States. It would appear that Mr. Serob Ter-Poghosyan believes that since he is a man of means with influence in government circles that he can intimidate members of the press in Armenia with threats and insults; and a woman reporter to boot. Not so Mr. Ter-Poghosyan...not so! In closing, I should also mention that there are a number of unimaginable stories regarding Mr. Ter-Poghosyan making the rounds in Akhtala, Alaverdi and Yerevan. Rest assured that "Hetq" will look into these in the near future.

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