Russian Television Crew Encountered No Bars In

STEPANAKERT YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Dmitry Pisarenko–a correspondent of the Russian NTV television company in Armenia–said no pressure had been put on the President or any other state bodies of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic while they were covering the trial of the former minister of defense and former commander-in-chief of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Army. Thus–Pisarenko refuted the unverified information published in the Iravunk weekly newspaper dated 22-28 September–2000.

Pisarenko believes that the author of the article is likely to have been guided solely by his own suppositions–as no one from the weekly staff had ever contacted him for an interview.

As a matter of fact–Pisarenko and the cameraman who worked with him left the court-room after taking pictures–when the presiding judge announced the decision regarding the time limit for video. As regards the pressure allegedly put on the company’s crew by Karabakh authorities–Pisarenko commented–"…there is not a single bit of truth in this information. Conversely–President Arkady Ghoukassian’s PR officers only assisted them in arranging a meetings with a member of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic parliament or creating appropriate conditions on a local television station to edit the filmed material and wire it to Moscow."

The following day–while in Yerevan–Pisarenko–according to his own testimony–contacted the press service of the Karabakh President to get some firsthand information–and was successful. The assumption of the newspaper’s reporter that Arkady Ghoukassian–who had allegedly disliked the coverage of the trial by NTV–made an attempt to influence the contents of the materials through his channels in Yerevan is absolutely groundless. The NTV correspondent says he stays in daily contact with his immediate chiefs in Moscow who evince lively interest in the Babayan trial.

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