Vahe Enfiajyan, Secretary of the “Tsarukyan” Faction at the National Assembly of Armenia, said the appellate court decision on releasing second President Robert Kocharyan from custody should be viewed within the legal—and not political—arena.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, the MP reflected also on the crashed press conference of Kocharyan, and expressed a view that the second President will have other opportunities to publicize his position.
“And in terms of freedom of speech, various organizations, representatives of political teams can carry out their pickets and [protest] actions,” Enfiajyan added.
The Court of Appeal on Monday overturned the first-instance court’s decision on remanding Robert Kocharyan in custody, and he was released from courtroom on the grounds that he has presidential immunity.
The second President on Tuesday was going to hold a press conference, but it was crashed by a group of demonstrators before it kicked off, and was subsequently canceled.
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 presidential 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.