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Armenia’s Police Chief ‘Has No Intention’ of Settling Lawsuit with Reporter

Tigran Atanesyan, the lawyer for the chief of Armenian national police Vladimir Gasparyan, believes that journalist Siranuysh Papyan's suit against the police chief is “unsubstantiated” and should therefore be dismissed, Aravot.am reports, citing the lawyer's speech during a Wednesday court hearing at the Kentron and Nork-Marash distric court. Papyan, the lawyer reportedly claimed, has brought the lawsuit against Gasparyan with the sole purpose of advertising herself.

The reporter's lawyer, Davit Asatryan, in turn, argued that the defense had not actually presented any grounds on which the suit, which demands a public apology from the police chief, should be dismissed.

The court today suggested that the parties consider negotiating a settlement agreement, but Gasparyan's lawyer rejected the idea on the spot, insisting that the police chief had no intention of settling. Nevertheless, the judge adjourned the trial until February 16, 2017, to give the parties time to negotiate a settlement deal.

Recall, speaking to reporters after a memorial event in Tsitsernakaberd earlier this year, Gasparyan claimed that Armenian police have undergone a great deal of reform and made positive progress in dealing with media representatives during street demonstrations. However, when Papyan, a Lragir.am and 1in.am reporter, countered that she saw no changes in police conduct, Gasparyan responded that he “did not see a woman” in Papyan.