27 Jul 2018 18:18

CSTO sec-gen cannot be arrested, has immunity - lawyer

YEREVAN. July 27 (Interfax) - Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Yury Khachaturov has immunity, which he may be stripped of by a CSTO decision, his lawyer Migran Pogosyan told Interfax.

"Only the CSTO Council has the power to lift immunity in accordance with the paragraph 21 of the agreement between the organization's member states," Pogosyan said.

If the court rules to arrest Yury Khachaturov, it will be a violation of an international agreement, he said.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry told Interfax that a statement is being prepared over Khachaturov's case.

Under the CSTO Charter, the organization's secretary general is appointed for three years by the CSTO Council, which chooses from a list of citizens of CSTO member states nominated by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

The member states' envoys to the CSTO have certain privileges and immunity from prosecution.

However, Article 33 of the CSTO's legal status agreement allows a member state to annul its envoy's immunity if "immunity obstructs justice."

Earlier on Friday, the Armenian Special Investigation Service brought charges against Khachaturov as part of the case of the dispersal of a protest on March 1, 2008.

On March 1, 2008, security forces dispersed thousands of protesters following a presidential election won by Serzh Sargsyan. Ten people were killed and over 250 injured.