The court session on the criminal case of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan and former deputy prime minister Armen Gevorgyan has resumed Tuesday in Yerevan.
The court process is continuing after a long break due to vacations, the absence of lawyers, about a month due to the snap parliamentary elections on June 20 and the opposition “Armenia” bloc's appeal to the Constitutional Court, and the last two sessions—due to Armen Gevorgyan's absence from courtroom. Participating in the sitting of the parliament and the procedure of electing the heads of the parliamentary standing committees, and being a candidate for the head of a parliamentary standing committee, Gevorgyan could not attend the aforesaid two court hearings. The first time, the court considered this absence honorable, but the second time—and agreeing with the prosecution—it considered Gevorgyan's absence dishonorable and ordered sanctions so that he be brought to today's hearing.
Speaking to reporters, Armen Gevorgyan had expressed surprise at the court's position, but stressed that he respects the court, and is ready to postpone his affairs and appear at the hearing without any sanctions.
The aforesaid “Armenia” bloc is headed by ex-President Robert Kocharyan. But he did not take the parliamentary mandate, whereas Armen Gevorgyan represents this bloc in the new parliament.
Initially, former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan—now also a member of parliament—and former CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov were also defendants in the case.
But after the Constitutional Court’s declaring Article 300.1 of the Criminal Code unconstitutional, the charges against Ohanyan and Khachaturov were dropped and their criminal prosecution was terminated.
The criminal prosecution against Kocharyan and Gevorgyan under the aforesaid article was similarly terminated.
All that remains is the charge against Robert Kocharyan of taking bribes and the charge against Armen Gevorgyan of money laundering.
However, the Prosecutor General believes that the charge under Article 300.1 of the Criminal Code can be replaced by another "convenient" article. In this regard, the Prosecutor General's Office has petitioned to the Constitutional Court regarding the Criminal Procedure Code provisions which prevent the re-qualification of the charge.