Kocharyan trial judge wants Artsakh’s President to make appearance in court for release vouching
YEREVAN, MAY 15, ARMENPRESS. Jailed ex-President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan’s lawyer Hovhannes Khudoyan today asked the presiding judge to ensure conditions for President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan’s and former President Arkady Ghukasyan’s appearance in court in the afternoon of May 17.
Sahakyan and Ghukasyan have offered personal guarantees to the Armenian court for the release of Robert Kocharyan from pre-trial detention. The judge said yesterday that the examination of the request requires the presence of Sahakyan and Ghukasyan in court.
Judge David Grigoryan said they can’t notify them about the obligations of the guarantor over the distance, and both need to be in court. The two also need to reaffirm the petition with their signatures.
The judge asked the lawyers to request the Artsakh President and the ex-president to make an appearance in court on May 16th in case of possibility, because May 17th is Friday and is followed by non-working days.
Kocharyan’s defense team said they will clarify if the presidents will be able to attend the hearing.
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 on May 14th 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 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