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YEREVAN. – The Constitutional Court’s petitioning to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding Kocharyan’s case is a new procedure. Attorney Hayk Alumyan, a member of the legal defense team of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan, noted about this at a press conference on Saturday.

“[With this petition,] the European Court is not being tasked to determine whether someone should be arrested, or whether or not a person is untouchable from the viewpoint of the constitution,” he added. “The issue is that the ECHR interpret the European Convention provisions that shall be applied in that case. The action to be taken by the ECHR will bear an advisory nature, and it will not be imposed on the Constitutional Court; but it’s a very authoritative view. I can’t imagine that the ECHR’s view on that matter will not satisfy anyone.”

In Alumyan’s words, the objective of petitioning also to the Venice Commission is again to get an advisory view.

“I believe that it was a right decision, since they consistently discredit our judiciary and court decisions,” he explained. “If a negative attitude is formed towards the courts, the judicial acts made by the judiciary can’t be authoritative for the society. I believe perhaps in the future, the Constitutional Court’s petitioning to the ECHR and the Venice Commission will make the judgments made by our judiciary more authoritative—at least in our society.”

On March 1 and 2, 2008 the then authorities of Armenia used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown capital city 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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