YEREVAN. – The Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia on Wednesday rejected the 45 MPs’ petition for commuting the court decision on remanding second President Robert Kocharyan in custody.
As per the attorney general’s office, at this phase of the investigation, the grounds for the precautionary measure of arrest—selected for Kocharyan—are maintained, and the selection of another precautionary measure that is not linked to confinement is not yet able to guarantee the investigation’s undisrupted course depending on the proper conduct of the accused.
This decision has troubled former ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) spokesperson and National Assembly vice speaker Eduard Sharmazanov. He told Armenian News-NEWS.am that he got the impression that selective justice is served in Armenia with respect to Kocharyan’s detention.
“The [aforesaid petition’s] rejection by the [general] prosecutor’s office is not convincing,” the parliament deputy chairman noted. “What would Kocharyan have done had he been out of custody? Would he have fled from Armenia? (…). Rejection of the 45 signatures of the MPs, rejection without grounds, is astonishing and bewildering to me.”
Sharmazanov, however, could not say what the RPA’s next course of action will be in defense of Robert Kocharyan.
“We will say about the next step, after the decision of the Court of Appeal,” he stated, in particular. “We will fight for justice.”
Also, Eduard Sharmazanov assured that the RPA had no concerns that detained Kocharyan would publicize names from the RPA political elite, and along the lines of the criminal case into the events that occurred in capital city Yerevan on March 1 and 2, 2008.
“We [the RPA] are the most interested party in solving [the] March 1 [case],” he added, above all.
As reported earlier, a charge has been brought against second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, former Defense Minister Mikayel Harutyunyan, and incumbent Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General and Armenia’s former Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Khachaturov, within the framework of the criminal case into the tragic events that transpired in capital city Yerevan on March 1 and 2, 2008—and under Article 300.1 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code; that is, breaching Armenia’s constitutional order, in conspiracy with others.
Since Harutyunyan is not in Armenia, a search for him was declared. And on July 27, Khachaturov was released on bail, whereas Kocharyan was remanded in custody for two months by a court decision.
On March 1 and 2, 2008, the then authorities used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the recent presidential election. Eight demonstrators as well as two servicemen of the internal troops were killed in the clashes. But no one had been brought to account for these deaths, to this day.