October 23
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YEREVAN. – By commuting—on May 18—the decision on remanding Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan in custody and by releasing him from custody—and based on personal pledge, the Yerevan court of general jurisdiction has made a judicial error—violations of procedural law—which has affected the outcome of the case. Petros Petrosyan, a prosecutor in the criminal case involving Kocharyan and several other former senior officials, on Wednesday stated this during the consideration of the appeals that are submitted to the Criminal Court of Appeal.

According to the prosecutor, the court of first instance has incomprehensibly and without any reason expressed a view that, allegedly, there are certain doubts in terms of future consideration of the constitutionality of the committed act that is attributed to Kocharyan.

“Such conclusion of the court [of first instance] does not correspond to the criterion for the reasoning of the judicial act,” he said, in particular.

According to the prosecutor, this judicial act is unlawful, unreasoned, and unjustified.

Thus, the prosecutor petitioned to the Criminal Court of Appeal to completely overturn the above-said court decision of May 18, make a new ruling, and remand Kocharyan once more in custody.

And Prosecutor Karen Bisharyan, in turn, petitioned to completely overturn the May 20 court decision of suspending the aforementioned criminal case and forwarding it to the Constitutional (CC), and to reach a new court verdict.

As reported earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office has appealed the Yerevan general jurisdiction court decision to release Robert Kocharyan from custody, and the same court’s decision to suspend the proceedings of this criminal case and to forward it to the CC. The legal representatives of the successors of the aforesaid victims also have filed appeals. Kocharyan’s legal defense team, however, has submitted four objections to these appeals.

Second President Robert Kocharyan is charged with overthrowing the constitutional order in Armenia in connection with the tragic events that occurred in Yerevan in March 2008, and taking a particularly large bribe.

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.

On May 18, a Yerevan court of general jurisdiction decided to release Kocharyan from custody, and based on the personal pledge by Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) incumbent President Bako Sahakyan and second President Arkadi Ghukasyan.

And on May 20, the same court suspended the criminal case against second President Robert Kocharyan, former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and former CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, and former Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Secretary of the National Security Council Armen Gevorgyan, and petitioned to the CC to determine the constitutionality of some Criminal Code articles and sections that are applied regarding this criminal case with respect to overthrowing the constitutional order in Armenia, and in connection with the abovementioned events in March 2008.

And the CC last week extended for one month the deadline for examining this Yerevan general jurisdiction court petition on the criminal case involving ex-President Robert Kocharyan, and the other former senior officials.

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