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YEREVAN. – A capital city Yerevan court of general jurisdiction on Saturday ruled for the release of the second President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, and based on a respective personal pledge.

“The court has decided to commute the pretrial measure of custody that was selected for Robert Kocharyan [son] of Sedrak, defendant in the criminal case, and to select personal pledge as a pretrial measure,” the court stated in its verdict.

Kocharyan’s supporters applauded this ruling.

In March, the court had granted the Special Investigation Service’s petition to extend Robert Kocharyan’s pretrial measure of custody for two more months. The period of this pretrial measure concludes on Sunday.

As reported earlier, Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) President Bako Sahakyan and second President Arkadi Ghukasyan on Thursday submitted a personal pledge at the aforesaid court, and for the release of Robert Kocharyan from pretrial custody.

Robert Kocharyan is charged with breaching the constitutional order of Armenia—and in connection with the tragic events that occurred in Yerevan, in March 2008—and, by using his official position, taking a particularly large bribe. His attorneys, however, maintain that these charges are groundless and a political persecution is carried out against him with this “fabricated” case.

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.

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