On February 4 at the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan the hearings on the attack on the correspondent of “Haikakan Zhamanak” daily Arman Galoyan were completed. As it has been reported, the incident occurred on September 23, 2004, when the journalist was interviewing the owners of the trade stalls being demolished around one of the Yerevan markets. In the course of the investigation one of the attackers, impeding the work of “Haikakan Zhamanak” correspondents, was identified: this was the market controller Armen Vardanian. It was also revealed that in late August, one month before the incident, the same Armen Vardanian, in the vicinity of the same market, had beaten two residents of Yerevan. The two cases were united into one litigation, and Vardanian was charged for the two episodes: Articles 164 (“Obstruction of legal professional activities of the journalist”) and 258 (“Public disorder”) of the RA Criminal Code. The litigation started on December 20, 2004 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 14-20, 2005).
At the session of February 4 the court made a verdict. Armen Vardanian, who pleaded guilty on both episodes, was sentenced by the court to one year’s reformatory labor. By the court ruling, he will continue working at the same place, but 20% of his monthly salary will be subtracted in favor of the state budget. Besides, Armen Vardanian compensated the cost of the tape recorder damaged equal to 25 thousand AMD (over $ 50) to “Haikakan Zhamanak” correspondent.