August 15
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The attorneys of Robert Kocharyan, the second President of Armenia, are considering the chances of appealing to the Court of Cassation.

Hayk Alumyan, one of Kocharyan’s legal defenders, on Tuesday told about the abovementioned to RFE/RL Armenian Service.

In his words, Robert Kocharyan’s lawyers are discussing whether it is worth appealing the appellate court’s decision at the cassation court. 

Alumyan noted that although they had presented a weighty argument for the freeing of their client, the appellate court’s decision on releasing Kocharyan from custody was based on the constitutional norm of immunity of the ex-president.

“We have two arguments that need to be submitted to the Court of Cassation,” Alumyan said stressing, however, that the decision to appeal to the cassation court was still under discussion.

He noted that the investigative body was not publicizing the charge against Kocharyan in its entirety, the rights of the attorneys was limited in terms of making the charge public, and major problems were arising with respect to the society’s perceptions of the reality of this case.

“It’s very important that everyone come to understand the content of the charge,” Hayk Alumyan said. “The public should come to understand that Robert Kocharyan has not been charged with the murder of ten people, or even of one person.”

As reported earlier, 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 have been charged 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. On July 27, Khachaturov was released on bail, whereas Kocharyan was remanded in custody for two months by a court decision. But on Monday, the Court of Appeal granted Robert Kocharyan’s legal defenders’ appeal to commute the first-instance court’s decision on remanding their client in custody, and Kocharyan was released from courtroom on the grounds that he has immunity. But sometime thereafter, the Special Investigation Service stated that the decision to release Kocharyan was unlawful, and expressed the hope that the Prosecutor General’s Office will appeal this decision at the Court of Cassation.

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.

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