Rival demonstrations outside Yerevan courthouse as Kocharyan bail verdict expected
YEREVAN, MAY 18, ARMENPRESS. Rival demonstrations numbering around 200 people are underway outside a Yerevan courthouse as the court is expected to deliver a decision whether ex-President Robert Kocharyan will be freed from jail amid the ongoing trial into the deadly 2008 post-presidential election unrest.
The decision is expected to be delivered at 16:00, but both supporters and protesters of Kocharyan have gathered outside the courthouse since morning. Supporters want the ex-president released, while protesters are chanting “life imprisonment”.
Heavy police presence is seen outside the court building.
On May 16, Artsakh’s President Bako Sahakyan and former President Arkady Ghukasyan personally arrived at the Yerevan court to vouch for the release of Kocharyan, who also served as President of Artsakh in the early 90s. The court adjourned to examine the personal guarantees.
Kocharyan, along with several other former officials, is charged with “overthrowing Constitutional Order” during the 2008 March protests in Yerevan when 8 protesters and 2 security officers died. The former President is accused of unlawfully ordering the military to intervene. He vehemently denies wrongdoing.
2nd President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, who ruled the country from 1998 to 2008, spent two weeks in jail in summer of 2018, but was eventually freed. But on December 7, a higher court overruled the release and ordered him to be remanded into custody pending trial again.
At the time the court announced the verdict, Kocharyan turned himself in to authorities.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan