German TV channel postpones broadcast of documentary on Armenian mafia by court decision

Mon 12 Nov 2018 07:40 GMT | 11:40 Local Time

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Germany’s MDR TV has postponed the broadcast of a 30-minute documentary, named “Godfathers in Germany: Armenian Mafia and Thieves in Law”, by a decision made by the Berlin court based on the lawsuit of Armenia’s ambassador to Germany.

The documentary about illegal activities of the Armenian mafia in Germany and Armenian ambassador Ashot Smbatian’s ties with Armenian criminal groups was scheduled to be aired on MDR TV on November 7, 2018.

Instead, the TV channel aired a 7-minute video report (https://www.mdr.de/thueringen/video-247040_zc-1201c59b_zs-4e0ede05.html), which provided information on illegal activities of the Armenian mafia in Germany, a series of investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies. The video report also reflected the joint journalistic investigation by MDR and Der Spiegel, as well as an interview with MDR reporter Axel Hemmerling.  

According to the data from Europol and Interpol, there are 670-900 Armenian “thieves in law” worldwide, and majority of them live outside Germany. In addition, there is evidence of ties between the Italian and Armenian mafias.

The video report also notes that the documentary on the Armenian mafia was postponed few hours before the broadcast by a court decision. The Armenian ambassador demanded a refutation from the journalists who conduct the relevant investigation and sued the TV channel. In this connection, MDR postponed the screening of the documentary until further clarification.

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