Why Kocharyan's release is in Armenian Prime Minister's best interests
Second president of Armenia was arrested pretty unexpectedly. The same can be said about his release. At first, Kocharyan was invited as a witness to testify to the Special Investigation Service. By the end of that day second president of Armenia became a prisoner on charges of going against constitutional order. That's how current law enforcers interpreted the events of March 2008, which followed presidential elections in February of the same year.
It seems that after coming to power Pashinyan began to deal with the dark past and try to bring those responsible to justice.
It was obvious that authorities are going to address the events of March 1. The Prosecutor's Office initiated criminal cases against former president, defense minister and head of the Yerevan local garrison of those days. Of course, Pashinyan took a risk. No matter what he did, Kocharyan's arrest would always look like personal revenge, and Kocharyan himself would be viewed as a prisoner of new Armenian leader. And that's why it seemed like he will spend a lot of time in prison, especially since petition of a large group of deputies about his release was rejected.
But the Appeal Court suddenly made a decision to release him. Is it really bad for Pashinyan? How will this situation end? The fact that once untouchable Robert Kocharyan is now in a completely different position was shown by demonstration of a small group of activists, who disrupted his planned press conference. But that's not the main point, even though it says a lot about his current situation.
Kocharyan's release is in Armenian Prime Minister's best interests for several reasons.
1. No one in Armenia should feel like his above the law, although new authorities should this by going against oligarchs and closest relatives of Serzh Sargsyan.
2. International community, including Russia, which didn't like more Kocharyan's arrest, saw that Armenia begins to live by the law, and if the court has decided to release someone, then that's it. In addition, Kocharyan's release also helps to prevent escalation in relations with Moscow in a way.
3. After these events, new government can't be accused of selective use of the law. No one can blame new authorities in using double standarts.
4. With Robert Kocharyan's release, Pashinyan now has a real political rival. But this rival has to use those forced that provoked Velvet revolution not so long ago, so Pashinyan sees no danger in Kocharyan.
5. After prison any person think about the meaning of this event in his life, and how much will it affect him in the future. Robert Kocharyan, who considers his arrest to be a political revenge, will think twice whether to return to politics or not.
6. Pashinyan once again showed the society that he's a man of his word. He promised not to interfere in Kocharyan's trial, and it seems that he really didn't.
7. Nikol Pashinyan announced he's going to hold a "report meeting" on August 17. He's going to tell his nation about his first days in power, what he managed to do, what he has to face, what tasks haven't been resolved at the moment. A lot of people are going to visit this event..
8. Finally, Robert Kocharyan is a free man, but the "March 1" events are still relevant.