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A recent ex-official goes after a journalist

Christine Barseghyan

16:58, September 1, 2004

On August 31, 2004 Edik Baghdasaryan, editor-in chief of Hetq Online, was summoned to the Investigative Division of the Police Department of the Kentron District of Yerevan to provide an explanation. "I first asked investigator Arsen Aivazyan about my status, to find out in what capacity I had been called into the police station. He responded that I had no status at the moment. Then I read through the statement made by Artashes Bisharyan, now the ex-head of the Department of Medical and Technological Supply of the Ministry of Health, in which he requested that charges be filed against me in accordance with Article 135 of the Criminal Code of Armenia, for insulting his honor and dignity," Baghdasaryan said. The journalist had been investigating the expiration of one billion drams worth of medicine that had been sent to Armenia as humanitarian aid. (See also: Humanitarian medicine).

A criminal investigation of the matter is being conducted by the Prosecutor's Office. "The funniest thing is that it has been two years since the criminal case was instituted, but Artashes Bisharyan, the main person responsible for the humanitarian medicine , has not testified in the Prosecutor's Office so far," Baghdasaryan said, adding, "I don't doubt that my articles contributed to the fact that Bisharyan was dismissed, but what can you do? Everyone has to take responsibility for his own actions. I refused to answer the questions at the police station or provide an explanation. I only noted that my investigation is not over yet, and there will be new articles, and new information will come to light. I pointed out that all the answers to the investigator's questions were contained in my articles, and I had no further answers or explanations. It is not clear yet whether criminal proceedings will be instituted against me or not, but one thing is clear - all the information I published is reliable and is based on documents. I examined only official documents, which took me months and months, since they were lists of drugs in thousands of different strengths," Baghdasaryan said.

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... read more on "Investigation.Humanitarian medicine"
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