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Tatevik Shaljyan

Yerevan Court Rejects Slander Suit Filed by "Word of Life"

A Yerevan court today rejected the slander suit filed by the Word of Life religious organization against the newspaper Iravunk.

The presiding judge has ordered that the religious group and its president each pay the newspaper 150,000 AMD for incurred legal fees.

Word of Life had sued the paper for an article that appeared last October showing a collage of photos implicating the organization in a sex scandal involving a well-known Armenian show business personality who is said to be a member.

Word of Life argued that the article is libelous and defamatory and that it incites religious hatred. It wants the newspaper to retract the article and publish an apology on the front page. The attorney for the group had maintained that the word “sect” was defamatory.

As to financial compensation, the organization was seeking 8,000 AMD it has spent for various court fees and 15,000 for translation and notary services.

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