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GPARTNERS law firm partner Sargis Grigoryan has responded to questions by Armenian News-NEWS.am.

What do you think about the recent report of the Venice Commission?

At the 119th session, the Venice Commission recorded that following a court decision to release on bail Republic of Armenia [former] President [Robert] Kocharyan, on May 19, Prime Minister [Nikol] Pashinyan strongly criticized the courts, asked his supporters to block the entrances and exits of courts, as well as announced a renewal of the judiciary.

This statement records a simple fact that the executive power [in Armenia] has intervened in the activities of the courts, or the judges, in the Kocharyan case. Moreover, the Venice Commission also indirectly states that PM Pashinyan has shown disrespectful attitude towards the courts, or the judges.

Both PM Pashinyan and other state officials were obligated to refrain from such actions that would jeopardize and undermine the independence of the courts.

The Venice Commission confirmed the [legal] defense team’s arguments that President Robert Kocharyan is deprived of the effective legal protection of his rights and freedoms, and that the courts are not independent and impartial, as well as the examination of the case is unjust.

This report of the Venice Commission will be submitted to the ECHR, which, among other things, will prove that President Robert Kocharyan is a political prisoner, since he is subjected to persecution—with political motives.

It’s apparent we are dealing with “facultative justice.”

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.

Second President Robert Kocharyan is charged with overthrowing the constitutional order in Armenia in connection with the aforesaid events, and taking a particularly large bribe.

The Criminal Court of Appeal recently overturned the first instance court’s earlier decision on releasing Kocharyan from custody, and it ruled that he be remanded in custody yet again.

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