31 Aug 2018 22:31

Ex-Armenian President Kocharyan's lawyers want Cassation Court to hear his case

YEREVAN. Aug 31 (Interfax) - Lawyers for former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan formally asked the Cassation Court on Friday to conduct a comprehensive hearing of the criminal case against their client.

"By granting the request on changing [Kocharyan's] restrictive measure in the form of arrest, the Appeals Court took into consideration only one of the four reasons for which we addressed the court. They took into consideration only the item regarding his immunity. The court did not take into account the other reasons. Unfortunately, we cannot disclose them to safeguard the secrecy of the investigation," Kocharyan's lawyer Aram Orbelyan told Interfax on Friday.

Armenia's Appeals Court ruled on August 13 to grant a request by Kocharyan's lawyers on freeing him from under arrest as a pretrial restrictive measure.

"The appeals court has overturned the rulings by the Yerevan court of first instance, referring to the ex-president's immunity," Kocharyan's lawyer Ruben Sahakyan told journalists at the time.

Kocharyan, who served as president of Armenia from 1998 to 2008, walked free from the courtroom.

On July 28, a court of first instance in Yerevan granted the Special Investigation Service's request to arrest him for two months pending trial on charges of violating the constitutional system in 2008. The charges are related to the dispersal of a protest on March 1, 2008.

On March 1, 2008, security forces dispersed thousands of protesters following Serzh Sargsyan's victory in the presidential election. Ten people were killed and over 250 injured.

Incumbent Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was a member of presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan's campaign staff in 2008. Following public disturbances on March 1, 2008, Pashinyan was declared wanted and surrendered to the authorities in 2009. In January 2010, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of organizing mass unrest. He was pardoned in May 2011. After being elected prime minister, Pashinyan said the "March 1 case" would be reviewed.