YEREVAN. – The two groups of protesters at the courtyard of the capital city Yerevan court of general jurisdiction are separated from each other by police barricades. The supporters of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan are on one side of the street, whereas the supporters of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan—on the other side.

The authorities’ supporters are chanting, “Nikol, Prime Minister,” whereas Kocharyan’s supporters—“Freedom to the President.”

A Pashinyan supporter told reporters that their objective is to counter the Kocharyan supporters, and claimed that the latter carry out their respective actions in exchange for money.

But a Kocharyan supporter did not agree with the aforesaid claim, and, in turn, told reporters that the authorities’ supporters who have assembled outside the court were Nikol Pashinyan’s “personal-use provocators and those who close off roads for him.”

As reported earlier, the first open court pretrial hearing of the criminal case against Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan and some other former officials has resumed Tuesday at a Yerevan court of general jurisdiction.

The court is addressing the pretrial measures of the defendants, and it will decide whether to commute, overturn, or sustain the court ruling on remanding Kocharyan in custody. The matter is being examined publicly, and with the attendance of the trial participants.

The prosecutor has confirmed the indictment on the part that has been separated from the criminal case on the events of March 2008 in downtown Yerevan, and regarding Robert Kocharyan, Seyran Ohanyan, Yuri Khachaturov, and Armen Gevorgyan.

The Special Investigation Service has filed charges against second President Robert Kocharyan, former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and former CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, and former Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Secretary of the National Security Council Armen Gevorgyan.

Accordingly, Kocharyan has been charged with breaching the constitutional order and taking a particularly large bribe; Ohanyan and Khachaturov are charged with breaching the constitutional order; and Gevorgyan is charged with aiding in breaching the constitutional order, taking a particularly large bribe, and legalizing unlawfully acquired property.

But solely Robert Kocharyan is remanded in custody in connection with this criminal case. Seyran Ohanyan and Armen Gevorgyan have been released on a signature bond, while Yuri Khachaturov—on bail.

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.