President of Artsakh offers personal guarantees to Armenia court for Kocharyan’s release from jail
YEREVAN, MAY 14, ARMENPRESS. President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan and former President Arkady Ghukasyan have presented personal guarantees to a Yerevan court requesting the release of ex-President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan from pre-trial detention.
The motion was presented to the judge today by Kocharyan’s lawyer Hovhannes Khudoyan during the ongoing trial of the March 1 case.
Presiding judge David Grigoryan said the examination of the guarantees requires Sahakyan’s and Ghukasyan’s presence in court.
Kocharyan’s defense team said they will contact the presidents and attempt to ensure their attendance.
ARMENPRESS contacted Artsakh’s Presidential Spokesperson Davit Babayan to know whether or not it’s possible for President Sahakyan to make an appearance in court in Armenia. Babayan noted they will follow the developments to see what happens.
Robert Kocharyan is present in court during today’s trial. As the trial is public, the gallery is full of people, including Kocharyan’s youngest son Levon, as well as both pro and anti citizens.
Kocharyan also served as President of Artsakh from 1994 to 1997.
Artsakh’s President Bako Sahakyan and former President Arkady Ghukasyan had earlier petitioned to the Prosecutor General of Armenia requesting Kocharyan’s release from jail, but the prosecution said the request is misaddressed since the case is already in court.
The March 1 case refers to the 2008 post-presidential election unrest in Yerevan when eight protesters and two security officers were killed in clashes during large demonstrations against alleged vote rigging. Kocharyan was the outgoing president at that time. He is accused of unlawfully ordering the military to interfere and disperse the protests.
Robert Kocharyan is charged with “overthrowing Constitutional order” and “accepting particularly large bribe”.
Other indicted officials are: ex-Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan (overthrowing Constitutional order). In 2008 Ohanyan served as Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces; Yuri Khachaturov (overthrowing Constitutional order). In 2008, Khachaturov was the Deputy Minister of Defense; Armen Gevorgyan (conspiracy to overthrow Constitutional order, accepting particularly large bribe and money laundering). Gevorgyan served as Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration. Gevorgyan’s most recent government position was Deputy Prime Minister.
Yuri Khachaturov is an Armenian general who served as Secretary General of the CSTO until being recalled by Armenia for criminal proceedings in 2018.
They all deny wrongdoing.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan