Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Former PM Tigran Sargsyan Partially Wins Slander Suit Against Businessman Hayrapetyan

An Armenian court yesterday partially ruled in favor of Tigran Sargsyan, a former prime minister of Armenia now serving as the country’s ambassador to the U.S., in a slander suit he filed against businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan and the Shamshyan.com news site.

Sargsyan, in his suit, had demanded that the news site publish a refutation of the material he deemed slanderous and that Hayrapetyan, the information source, pay 1 million AMD in damages.

Judge Zarouhie Nakhshqaryan ordered that Shamshyan.com pay Sargsyan 100,000 AMD in moral damages and publishes a refutation of the material.

Hayrapetyan attorney Grisha Balasanyan told Hetq that there is ample proof that his client did not slander Sargsyan, but that the court found two of the three passages regarding Sargsyan as libelous.

“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t expect such a verdict because a vast majority of the court cases involving Armenian official are predetermined. Thus, it was clear that the court’s verdict would be in favor of Tigran Sargsyan. With this decision, Sargsyan is attempting to clear his name from the offshore story,” Balasanyan said.

Balasanyan immediately filed for an appeal.

(In 2013, Hetq broke the story regarding an offshore scandal involving then Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Primate of the Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan. Hayrapetyan lost millions in assets he had placed in collateral and has consistently maintained he was swindled.)

Photo (from left): Judge Nakhshqaryan, Ambassador Tigran Sargsyan