YEREVAN. – The Armenian government has started manifesting a very dangerous approach at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). An attempt will be made to use for political objectives the cases at the ECHR and their verdicts.

Hayk Alumyan, an attorney of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan, noted about the aforesaid at a press conference on Saturday.

“In fact, the Prime Minister [Nikol Pashinyan] is [basically] saying that when these cases come back [to Armenia], they [the incumbent authorities] can say that people’s rights have been violated during the time [in office] of Robert Kocharyan and [third President] Serzh Sargsyan; this means, attempting to use the ECHR judgments, in the fight against political opponents,” Alumyan said, in particular. “In fact, those persons [Armenia’s representatives at ECHR] are instructed by the Prime Minister to go and lose those cases at the European Court, so that, later, the Prime Minister will be able to prove that the former [Armenian] authorities have been a lawbreaker.”

As reported earlier, the Criminal Court of Appeal on Thursday denied the motion by Robert Kocharyan’s attorneys and upheld the first-instance court decision on extending the term of his custody.

On January 18, the capital city Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction granted the petition by the Special Investigation Service, and with a request to extend Kocharyan’s confinement for another two months, but denied the motion by the legal defense team of Kocharyan, and to the effect that their client be released from custody on bail. The defense, however, appealed this ruling to the Criminal Court of Appeal.

Robert Kocharyan was first remanded in custody on July 27, 2018 by a decision of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction. But on August 13, the Court of Appeal granted Robert Kocharyan’s legal defenders’ appeal to commute the first-instance court’s decision on remanding their client in custody, and Kocharyan was released from courtroom on the grounds that he had presidential immunity.

But on November 15, the Court of Cassation overturned the Criminal Court of Appeal decision on remanding—and on the grounds of presidential immunity—Robert Kocharyan in custody, and the case was sent to the same court for a retrial.

And with its ruling on December 7, 2018 the Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the first instance court’s July 27 decision on remanding Robert Kocharyan in custody. On the same day—December 7, Kocharyan was remanded in custody a second time.   

Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan—along with several other former officials—has been charged within the framework of the criminal case into the tragic events that transpired in Yerevan on March 1 and 2, 2008—and under Article 300.1 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code; that is, breaching Armenia’s constitutional order, in conspiracy with others.

On March 1 and 2, 2008 the then authorities of Armenia used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the presidential election on February 19, 2008. Eight demonstrators as well as two servicemen of the internal troops were killed in the clashes. But no one had been brought to account for these deaths, to this day.