YEREVAN (Arka) — Armenia’s Court of Appeals will announce its decision on a petition filed by ex-president Robert Kocharian’s lawyers against his arrest, on August 13, one of Kocharian’s lawyer, Aram Orbelyan, told journalists today.
He added that the decision will be made public on Monday at 4:00 pm. According to Orbelyan, he and other lawyers believe that the Court of Appeals will deliver a positive ruling, as Kocharian shed some light on some facts.
Earlier the Office of the Prosecutor-General declined an appeal signed by 46 members of the parliament, to release Robert Kocharian from custody pending investigation into the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. The lawmakers, the bulk from the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia, guaranteed in writing that Kocharian will not flee prosecution if set free.
A Yerevan district court late on July 27 ruled that the Special Investigative Service (SIS) could hold Kocharian for two months in pre-trial detention pending investigation. The case dates back to late February and early March 2008 following the disputed presidential election, when then prime minister Serzh Sarkisian was declared the winner, angering the opposition, led by the first Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosian and setting off 10 days of nonstop protests that led to a crackdown on March 1, in which 10 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
Kocharian is now charged with toppling constitutional order in collusion with other persons, and the agency has applied to court for a detention warrant.
The same charge was brought against Yuri Khachaturov, secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, who had been the chief of the Yerevan garrison at the time of the bloody events of 2008. However, Khachaturov was released on bail, for AMD 5 million.
Also former defense minister Mikael Harutyunyan is wanted by the law-enforcement authorities as a defendant in the case. He is accused of illegally using the Armenian armed forces against opposition supporters who demonstrated in Yerevan in the wake of the disputed presidential election held in February 2008.