On December 12, Haykakan Zhamanak Daily, founded by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, referred to the activities of Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan, drawing several parallels between the latter and representatives of the former authorities.
In particular, trying to show that there is fishy cooperation between the former authorities and Marutyan, Haykakan Zhamanak linked the existence of advertising posters of Robert Kocharyan’s book “Life and Freedom” in Yerevan with such behind-the-scenes agreements.
“The fact that the posters of Robert Kocharyan’s book appeared on the streets of Yerevan after the Artsakh war in 2020 is remarkable,” the news outlet wrote.
This much-discussed manipulative article has already been referred to by our colleagues at Infocom, showing that the city authorities could not in any way prevent the placement of advertising posters if the application for an advertising permit fully meets the presented criteria.
It should be added that in April of this year the same Haykakan Zhamanak published an article about these posters, in which it even took a comment from the Spokesperson for the Mayor Hakob Karapetyan. According to the latter, the new application for placing the book advertisement was already complete, and the municipality could not refuse to place the posters at that time. However, accusing Hayk Marutyan of shady agreements, the news outlet not only did not mention this circumstance in the new article, but also failed to mention another, more important fact.
Back in 2019, the Yerevan Municipality banned the installation of billboards for the book “Life and Freedom”, after which the publishing company, Space Management LLC, went to court (by the way, this company belongs to Robert Kocharyan’s children, Gayane, Sedrak and Levon Kocharyans in equal shares). In December last year, the court granted the plaintiff’s application and obliged the Yerevan Municipality to allow the installation of billboards. However, in January 2021, the municipality appealed the decision of the Court of First Instance in the Court of Appeals, which is still examining the case. In other words, after the war, the mayor’s office continued to fight against the placement of billboards for Kocharyan’s book “Life and Freedom”, contrary to the newspaper’s claims.
Thus, it should be stated that Haykakan Zhamanak’s claim that the publication of the advertising posters of Robert Kocharyan’s book is due to fishy cooperation with Hayk Marutyan is groundless since the municipality is still in court fighting against the preliminary application for the placement of those advertisements.