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Vahe Sarukhanyan

Tigran Karapetyan Plans to Fight for ALM TV in European Court

Says he will purchase a regional TV station

Commenting on yesterday’s decision by Armenia’s State Radio and Television Committee that deprived his ALM TV company a digital broadcasting license, Tigran Karapetyan labelled the process “unfair”.

ALM Holding lost out to Yerevan TV in yesterday’s balloting by the Committee. “We invested 600 million to their 400. We have 83 employees, they have only 42. We have a building, they don’t,” noted Karapetyan at a press conference held today.

However, the businessman said that he respected the decision of the Committee and that Yerevan TV won fair and square. Karapetyan also implied that a last minute directive from on high instructed the Committee members to vote against his company.

He said that he would fight to the very end for a medium to stay in touch with the people and mentioned an on-line variant. The feisty politician also promised that he would take his complaint to the European Court for adjudication, even though he said he expected the Court to rule against him.

Karapetyan, who made the bulk of his fortune in Russia, also said that he had sought the help of friends there and that they had promised to contribute a few million dollars to his cause.

He said the funds would be used to purchase a regional TV station or buy shares in an operating one.

“I will not allow certain people to restrict freedom of speech in Armenia,” Karapetyan declared.

Regarding the Committee’s vote against granting broadcasting rights to the opposition-based A1+ TV, Karapetyan argued that this too was a “politically inspired” decision.

He said that had the Committee granted A1+ a license, the government would have suffered a heart attack.

“A1+ is seen as a real threat to the authorities in power,” Karapetyan argued.