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Kristine Aghalaryan

Ijevan Municipality - "We never received 'Investigative Journalists' appeals notice"

Today, at the RA Civil Court of Appeals, a hearing was scheduled to review the appeal filed by the "Investigative Journalists" regarding a lower court decision in the matter of "The Ijevan Municipality and Mayor vs. the Investigative Journalists, NGO". Gevorg Davtyan, legal representative for Ijevan Mayor Varuzhan Nersisyan, stated in court that neither the municipality nor the mayor had ever received a notice regarding the appeal. Mr. Davtyan claimed that that he had only received word two days ago that the Appeals Court had accepted the case. Presiding Judge Nakhshun Tavaratsyan went through the court files and found a copy of the notice that had been sent on August 9, 2010. Judge Tavaratsyan postponed the appeal’s hearing till November 10, to allow Mr. Davtyan and his clients to familiarize themselves with the appeal. The Investigative Journalists NGO, the organization that publishes Hetq, had appealed a lower court ruling directing it to publish a retraction of two articles written by reporter Voskan Sargsyan. The Ijevan Municipality and Mayor Nersisyan had sued for slander and defamation of character and the lower court found in the plaintiffs’ favour.