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YEREVAN. – The capital city Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction on Tuesday is examining the appeal which the defense has filed with respect to stopping the criminal proceedings against second President Robert Kocharyan on the basis of presidential immunity.

Robert Kocharyan, who is a defendant in the criminal case into the tragic events that occurred in downtown capital city Yerevan in March 2008, is remanded in custody since December 7, 2018. He is charged under two articles of the Criminal Code.

Robert Kocharyan was first remanded in custody on July 27, 2018 by a decision of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction. But on August 13, 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 had presidential immunity.

But on November 15, the Court of Cassation overturned the Criminal Court of Appeal decision on remanding—and on the grounds of presidential immunity—Robert Kocharyan in custody, and the case was sent to the same court for a retrial.

And 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 was remanded in custody a second time.   

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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