Berlin court postpones showing film about Armenian mafia and thieves in law

Berlin court postpones showing film about Armenian mafia and thieves in law
Armenian Ambassador to Germany Ashot Smbatyan

The decision was made in connection with the claim of the Armenian Embassy. The Ambassador of Armenia to Germany Ashot Smbatyan, who, according to journalists, is associated with Armenian criminal groups, is mentioned in the materials of the investigation of Der Spiegel and MDR.

On the basis of the claim of the Armenian Embassy in Germany, the decision of the Berlin court postponed the screening on of the documentary film “Godfathers in Germany: Armenian Mafia and Thieves in Law” on MDR channel, scheduled for November 7.

The film show was delayed a few hours before the broadcast. Instead of a 30-minute documentary on television, a 7-minute video report was shown about the activities of the Armenian mafia in Germany and its exposure by law enforcement agencies.

The joint journalistic investigation of the MDR channel and Der Spiegel, which caused the diplomatic tension between Armenia and Germany, was also mentioned in the report.

Recall that the newspaper Spiegel and the broadcasting company Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk conducted an independent journalistic investigation about the Armenian mafia in Germany and its relations with thieves in law. The materials of the investigation mention the Ambassador of Armenia to Germany Ashot Smbatyan, who, according to some sources, is associated with Armenian criminal groups.

According to German media reports, the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (BKA), together with the German land police agencies, has been conducting a classified operation to search for and detain representatives of Armenian criminal groups and thieves in law for three years. German law enforcement authorities are supported in the investigation by the federal intelligence service BND and Europol. In connection with the data on the merging of criminal structures with the Armenian authorities, the BKA did not recommend the investigators to accept the assistance of the Armenian diplomatic mission in Germany.

Ashot Smbatyan denied his connection with the mafia and called these accusations absurd, demanded refutations from journalists and sued the TV channel. After this, the Berlin court banned the Spiegel newspaper and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk TV company from disseminating unfounded statements about the Armenian ambassador to Germany Ashot Smbatyan.

According to the verdict, these media "are forbidden literally or, in a context of meaning, to approve or disseminate unfounded statements about the plaintiff." For any violation of the court decision, the media are threatened with a fine of up to 250 thousand euros, or disciplinary arrest of defendants, i.e. the companies' representatives, for up to 6 months.

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