Winter session the Parliamentary Assembly, January 2018

YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The head of Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) stated that former President Serzh Sarkisian will be questioned as part of the investigation into deadly crackdown against protesters following the country’s 2008 presidential election.

Sasun Khachatrian told reporters on August 16 that “all individuals linked to the case will be questioned.”

“Serzh Sarkisian will be questioned as well,” Khachatrian said, adding that the procedure “will be decided by an investigator on the basis of the necessity to investigate the criminal case and expediency of implementing concrete investigative activities.”

Khachatrian also said he hopes former Armenian President Robert Kocharian will be rearrested in connection with the case.

Kocharian was arrested in July on charges that he was involved in the 2008 post-election violence in which 10 people were killed, including two police officers. His August 13 release from custody on the orders of an appeals court in Yerevan sparked protests in the Armenian capital.

The court said it based its decision on Article 140 of the constitution, which states: “During the term of his or her powers and thereafter, the President of the Republic may not be prosecuted and subjected to liability for actions deriving from his or her status.”

Khachatrian reiterated an earlier SIS statement on Kocharian’s release, calling the court’s decision “illegal.”

“I just defined the decision of the court of appeals as illegal, and actually, that definition of mine is very soft,” Khachatrian said.

He also said Kocharian would be arrested immediately if he tries to flee Armenia.

“I do not think Kocharian will try to leave the country. At this point, pretrial limitations for him have not been ordered. But if he tries to leave the country that will be defined as an attempted obstruction of justice and the limitation measure will be introduced,” Khachatrian said.

Kocharian denies the charges against him, calling them politically motivated.

 

 

 

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