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YEREVAN. – The capital city Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction on Monday commenced consideration of the motion by the legal defense team of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan, and to the effect that their client be released from custody on bail, as well as the petition by the Special Investigation Service, and with a request to extend Kocharyan’s confinement for another two months.

To note, Kocharyan’s defense team had submitted its motion on December 26, 2018 and asked the court to also set the amount of bail for releasing their client.

As grounds for the motion by Kocharyan’s attorneys, it is noted that more than four months had passed since the first instance court’s decision on remanding Kocharyan in custody, and since then he had not carried out any action to obstruct the criminal case. So the defense finds that there are no grounds for any longer remanding Robert Kocharyan in custody.

As another grounds for this motion, it is stated that the second President’s freedom was restricted unlawfully, and therefore releasing him on bail would be the only means whereby the court can minimize the violation of Kocharyan’s rights.

With its ruling on December 7, 2018 the Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the first instance court’s July 27 decision on remanding Robert Kocharyan in custody. On the same day—December 7, Kocharyan handed himself over to a Yerevan penitentiary where he was arrested.   

Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan—along with several other former officials—has 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.

On March 1 and 2, 2008 the then authorities of Armenia used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the presidential election on February 19, 2008. 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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