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Tatevik Shaljyan

Yerevan School Principal Demands More in Compensation from "7or" News Site

At today’s slander trial pitting Yerevan Public School 11 Principal Rouzanna Azizyan against the news outlet “7or.am”, the plaintiff Azizyan upped her compensation demand to 300,000 AMD for slander and insult.

Azizyan, who argues the news outlet slandered her good name and reputation by publishing allegations that she had demanded teachers pay her $100 each, had originally merely demanded a retraction and 100,000 AMD for incurred legal fees.

On April 17, the news site received a letter from Azizyan’s attorney that those who sent in the allegations weren’t irate parents but rather some teachers who had been dismissed from the school and were bent on discrediting the principal and the staff.

“7or” then published an abridged version of the attorney’s clarifications under the title “Retraction”. The heading read – “Those who telephoned weren’t irate parents but 2-2 dismissed teachers”.

This step did not appease Rouzanna Azizyan and she filed a slander suit at the Shengavit Court against the news site, demanding a retraction and apology.

Andranik Tevanyan, attorney for the defendant, told the court today that the suit was baseless since his client had followed the letter of the law and printed a retraction.

Tevanyan added that the news outlet never claimed in its article that the allegations were true.

Plaintiff lawyer Arshak Tovmasyan argued that the letter he sent the news outlet was merely a clarification of the facts but that it was reprinted as a formal retraction and that certain segments were omitted.

Tovmasyan said that “7or.am” was out to disparage Azizyan by linking her to the criminal charge of bribe taking.

Attorney Tevanyan countered that the abridged version was also legal since the law requires that any retraction must not be longer than the original piece.

Tovmasyan said his side had nothing more to present in the way of evidence to sustain their charge of slander and that all appropriate articles relevant to the issue had been submitted to the court.

Tevanyan also noted that the defense had nothing more to add since they had fulfilled the letter of the law and had published a retraction as demanded by the plaintiff.

The next trial date was set for August 8.

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