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Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Case Closed: Police Hand Over Information to Hetq in Court

Concluding a Freedom of Information suit dating back seven months, on October 30 Armenia’s Administrative Court finally declared the case closed when Judge Liana Hakobyan (photo) found that the Police had  turned over the information, in court, that had been requested by Hetq for an investigative piece it was writing.

The Investigative Journalists NGO (IJ - publisher of Hetq) had taken the police to court in May 2015, seeking information regarding the number of complaints filed against two individuals (Varuzhan Margaryan and Naira Asatryan) in the last five years for usury. The police rejected the IJ’s demand, arguing that by supplying such information it would violate Article 8 of the Freedom of Information Law; namely the secrecy of a person and/or family.

The trial got underway in September.

Grisha Balasanyan, who ws representing the Investigative Journalists NGO, said, “We have won because we received the information demanded. Furthermore, the police, in court, accepted that there could be no talk of the inviolability of personal life. This would have never gone to court if the police handed over the info seven months ago.

The court will seize 50,000 drams in lawyer’s fees and 4,000 drams in court fees from the Police.