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YEREVAN. – A few days ago Hraparak newspaper sent written questions to the second president of the Republic of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, and received their answers. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

Can we expect justice from the Armenia’s courts?

The judicial power is under intense pressure from the executive power. Judges first assess the degree of their vulnerability and only then make judgments based on it. It is not justice, but personal risk assessment by judges.

Corrupt judges and prosecutors are more obedient to the regime. Of course, there are also judges who have maintained their dignity and professional honor, who are ready to fight for their independence. The positive decisions in my case were made by such judges, contrary to the prosecutorial “boundlessness.”

There are suspicious legal processes in Armenia. The campaign against the Constitutional Court and its president alone would have been enough in the past for human rights defenders to make harsh statements, there would have been a clear international reaction. How do you explain this infantilism of civil society? How to change the situation in this matter?

It turned out that the former structure of the human rights system of Armenia was a fake one and it completely collapsed. In fact, it was designed and funded to serve the opposition forces of a certain orientation. Few human rights defenders remained loyal to their title. Today, a new community of people dedicated to human rights activism is emerging who are able to rise above their political inclinations. By the way, their intellectual and moral level is incomparably higher than the level of primitive and lazy grant eaters.

There are elections in Artsakh in the near future; the negotiation process has reached a deadlock. What should the leadership of Artsakh do? And who do you see as the president of Artsakh as a worthy successor at this stage?

[Armenia PM Nikol] Pashinyan's slogan that “the solution should satisfy all parties to the conflict” is an empty word that says nothing, a simple-minded resolution of a mediator. This is direct proof that Armenia has no action plan.

The latest round of negotiations in Bratislava and the developments surrounding it have shown the utter bankruptcy of our authorities' negotiation strategy (if, of course, such a strategy exists at all).

Artsakh should take the initiative and clearly define its position on the key components of the settlement. This is the only way to avoid irreparable consequences.

At the same time, Artsakh is obliged to rely on its Declaration of Independence and the Constitution without fear of disagreement with the Republic of Armenia authorities.

The absence of a successor proclaimed by the authorities has led to the extreme fragmentation of the political arena. There have never been such a number of presidential candidates representing different parts of the Karabakh elite. This is not a sign of democracy, but a manifestation of fragmentation, which is a challenge to the security of Karabakh. The border of democracy in Artsakh should be conditioned by security, not vice versa.

The joining of non-governmental organizations funded by external forces to the elections raises questions. Such organizations and pacifist religious sects should not be in Artsakh at all. What is happening is more dangerous than military incidents being recorded on the contact line, because it destroys the very values by which we have won. I would like to be wrong, but in my eyes this seems to be a scenario wrapped around the neck of Karabakh, and it seems that it is being implemented with the participation of Armenia’s authorities.

It is unacceptable to have a buttering-up president in Karabakh who obeys the whims of anyone, including the whims of the Prime Minister of Armenia. These qualities are characteristic of feeble and weak persons, and such "leadership" can have disastrous consequences for Artsakh. Courageous leaders toughened by war are needed here. I hope the choice of the Karabakh people will be just like that.

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This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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