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YEREVAN. – At Tuesday’s court session on the criminal case against second President Robert Kocharyan and former deputy prime minister Armen Gevorgyan—who is now an MP of the opposition “Armenia” Faction in the National Assembly—Gevorgyan's lawyer Erik Aleksanyan left the courtroom.

Presiding Judge Anna Danibekyan imposed sanctions—in the form of a warning—as the lawyer had demonstratively left the courtroom during the August 24 hearing because the judge had refused to give him time to prepare a petition for the recusal of this judge.

In today’s hearing, Aleksanyan stressed that the judge's actions grossly violate Gevorgyan's rights.

The lawyer asked to clarify his position with his client with respect to leaving the trial. The judge denied this request, too, stating that they were free to determine this after the prosecution reads the indictment. In response, however, Aleksanyan simply left the courtroom.

Armen Gevorgyan tried to get an answer from the judge about her objective in this regard, and stated that any court decision after this incident will be questioned.

The prosecution stated that the argument that Gevorgyan was not ready did not correspond to reality, and that all their actions were planned.

Defense lawyer Hayk Alumyan considered the prosecution’s words to be baseless accusations, adding that these words were not said for those present, but for the media and their audience.

The prosecution responded that if the defense thinks that everything is calculated for the media, they should demand a closed trial.

And defense attorney Aram Orbelyan reminded the court about the constitutional right to defense of the lawyer chosen by the defendant, emphasizing that this court session should be adjourned so that Armen Gevorgyan can call for a lawyer.

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