Russian Reporter Files Lawsuit Against Snark News Agency

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Voice of Russia Radio reporter Edward Sakhinov filed a lawsuit against "Snark" news agency–demanding that the latter should return him a debt of $2,700.

At a court session Edward Sakhinov said that in 1996 former director of the news agency Vladimir Ohanian asked him to transfer $2,700 on the account of the news agency to cover debts to the "Arminco" communications company. In exchange for this sum–Ohanian offered Sakhinov to become a co-founder of the news agency and re-register the agency into a joint stock company and consider the mentioned sum as a founder’s share in the establishment of the agency. According to Sakhinov–he was deceived as after Ohanian left Armenia–the news agency was re-registered into a public organization with a doubled number of co-founders which did not satisfy Sakhinov.

The major subject of the litigation is a payment bill mentioned in a contract under which Snark news agency agreed to provide information to Sakhinov. According to Sakhinov–the contract was false as it was a suitable form of transferring money from Sakhinov’s account to that of the organization.

However–the contract did not meet the requiremen’s of "Vesti" Russian news program with which Sakhinov worked at the time. According to Sakhinov–if Snark alleges the opposite–then he should be provided with a full financial account. Sakhinov said that no such account exists.

He also demanded that the current director of Snark news agency Emmanuil Mkrtchian should confirm his authorities as a representative of the agency in the court by the signatures of all 10 co-founders of the news agency.

Sakhinov also intends to apply to the Ministry of Justice to shut down the agency until the problem of composition of founders is resolved.

Director of Snark Emmanuil Mkrtchian said that Snark’s founders did not consider it reasonable to re-register the public organization into a joint stock company because of complications of the legislation–and had it re-registered by increasing the number of co-founders. As to the debt–Mkrtchian said that apparently there were some verbal agreemen’s between Sakhinov and former director of the news agency–which even included an option that Sakhinov will become a director of the news agency. However–according to Mkrtchian–these agreemen’s have no legal force.

Judge Edik Avetissian decided to adjourn the judicial proceedings until Mkrtchian certifies his authorities by presenting a document signed by all co-founders.

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