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YEREVAN. – This is the most disgraceful criminal case in the history of the Republic of Armenia. Former President Robert Kocharyan, who is currently in custody, on Thursday announced this at the Shengavit District seat of the capital city Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction. 

“My rights have been violated numerous times during this one year, and I have the impression that they haven’t missed any opportunity for violation in this case,” he said. “This is a personalized case, there is an element of political persecution here, and this is done toward a man who has been president both in Karabakh [(Artsakh)] and in Armenia. Sometimes you think that they can allow such abuses against me, a former president. I understand one thing that the law seems to be a [modeling] clay for the prosecutor’s office; you can interpret how you want.”

According to the second president, textbooks in the future will write about this criminal case.

“To my impression, this is the most disgraceful criminal case in the history of the Republic of Armenia,” he said. “The textbooks will write about this case, and this case will have its negative and positive characters; I have no doubt who will be the negative characters of this.”

Subsequently, Kocharyan addressed the judge presiding over this court hearing.

“You are the person who writes yet another chapter of the history of this criminal case,” he said. “And how this chapter will be depends on you.”

At Thursday’s court hearing, Robert Kocharyan’s legal defense motioned the court to immediately terminate the criminal proceedings against Kocharyan and to immediately release him from custody—and on the basis of the recent Constitutional Court ruling

The Constitutional Court had deemed unconstitutional Article 35 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and which refers to cases that rule out criminal prosecution in the country.

The examination of the case involving second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and some other former senior officials accused of overthrowing the constitutional order along the lines of the March 1, 2008 case began Thursday at the Shengavit seat of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction, and presided over by Judge Anna Danibekyan.

Second President Robert Kocharyan, former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and former CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, and former Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Secretary of the National Security Council Armen Gevorgyan are defendants in this case.

Solely Robert Kocharyan is in custody along the lines of this case. The second president has been arrested three times; the last one was on June 25, by the decision of Judge Armen Danielyan of the Criminal Court of Appeal.

A signature bond to not leave Armenia has been selected as a pretrial measure for Seyran Ohanyan and Armen Gevorgyan, whereas bail—for Yuri Khachaturov.

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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