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Son Of Former Armenian President Sues Leading Opposition Paper

YEREVAN -- Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian's son is suing the country's leading opposition newspaper for libel after it investigated his recent arrest in the United Arab Emirates.

An article in the newspaper "Haykakan Zhamanak" on February 6 said that Levon Kocharian, who is in his early 20s, was detained after provoking a drunken fight while on vacation.

Levon Kocharian demanded a retraction, which was refused, and he filed suit demanding damages up to 16 million drams ($43,000).

His lawyers told RFE/RL's Armenian Service that the suit is about more than Kocharian's personal standing and is also about Armenia's international reputation.

The outspoken editor in chief of "Haykakan Zhamanak," Nikol Pashinian, played a major role in the massive antigovernment demonstrations held after the disputed February 2008 presidential election.

He went into hiding to escape arrest following the March 1, 2008, clashes between security forces and opposition protesters in Yerevan.