December 07
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Lusine Sahakyan, the new defense lawyer of former deputy prime minister Armen Gevorgyan—who is now an MP of the opposition “Armenia” Faction in the National Assembly (NA) and a member of the NA delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe  (PACE)—, submitted a motion with the court to recognize his parliamentary immunity.

The lawyer reminded that being a member of the delegation to PACE presupposes the parliamentary immunity of an MP, and in case of stripping off of this immunity, the respective consent of the PACE is also needed.

Earlier, the court had prohibited Gevorgyan from leaving for Strasbourg, France, to attend the autumn session of PACE.

The defense attorney added that Gevorgyan's parliamentary immunity as a member of the PACE delegation is recognized under an international treaty of Armenia.

The presiding judge asked to clarify what actions are expected from the court in this regard.

"You just have to fulfill the requirement of the treaty. Being a representative in the PACE means participating in [its] sittings several times a year," Sahakyan explained.

"What does 'absolute immunity' mean?" the court asked.

The lawyer replied that she could not cite all the respective international law.

"Does the criminal prosecution fit into that framework?" the court asked.

But the lawyer did not answer, noting that she perfectly knows what the court's next statement will be.

"It is an international terminology, and Armenia has ratified the document," the lawyer reminded.

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