For the second time Tuesday, during the trial of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan and several other former senior officials, the defendant and his attorney were not allowed to exercise their procedural rights. Last time, Judge Armen Danielyan had done this to the second president, and this time Judge Anna Danibekyan did it to former deputy prime minister Armen Gevorgyan—who is now an MP of the opposition “Armenia” Faction in the National Assembly.
In the case before the Yerevan Court of First Instance, Gevorgyan wanted to make a statement about the court's decision not to allow him to leave the country, but presiding judge Danibekyan did not allow it, "considering that the mentioned issue cannot be a subject of discussion here."
Armen Gevorgyan wanted to object to the judge's actions. The judge said that the objection had been registered, although Gevorgyan had not yet started presenting it.
Lusine Sahakyan, a new lawyer of Armen Gevorgyan, asked the court to publish the content of Gevorgyan's objection. "I ask [the court] to allow my client to present his objection," the lawyer added, in particular.
To note, Judge Anna Danibekyan had denied Armen Gevorgyan's request and not allowed him to leave Armenia to attend the PACE plenary session.
After that, the court constantly hindered the attempts of the defense to file an objection, and did not allow lawyer Lusine Sahakyan to make a statement in that regard.
Sahakyan said that in her impression, Judge Danibekyan wants to deprive Gevorgyan of the right to have a lawyer.
To note, during the trial in this case, it has already become usual for the court to deprive the defense—especially Armen Gevorgyan and his lawyers—of the right to submit statements, motions or objections. This was also the reason why the defense attorney Erik Aleksanyan had decided to no longer represent Gevorgyan in the court sessions presided over by judge Anna Danibekyan.
Moreover, it should be noted that this is happening in a country whose authorities have declared it a "bastion of democracy."