Kocharyan to be arrested again

Kocharyan to be arrested again

Armenia’s Court of Appeals has upheld the judgment of a lower court on remanding Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharyan, his attorney Hayk Alumyan said.

Alumyan said that he and other defense layers had filed a number of petitions, including one requesting to replace the presiding judge Ruben Mkhitaryan, which were denied.

He said the defense layers will appeal the latest ruling at the Constitutional Court to verify the compliance of articles 300 and 300.1 of Penal Code (cited to remand Kocharyan) with the basic law of the country, ARKA reported.

Kocharyan, who served two terms as president in 1998-2008, is charged with toppling constitutional order in collusion with other persons in 2008 March. A Yerevan district court allowed this past summer the Special Investigative Service to detain Kocharyan for two months in pre-trial detention pending investigation. However, he was released from custody on June 13 after the Court of Appeals ruled that he could not be prosecuted for the 2008 March 1 post-election violence. 

The court based its decision on Article 140 of the Armenian Constitution, which says that 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. That ruling was denounced by the Special Investigative Service, which described it as illegal, saying that the Court of Appeals “overstepped the bounds of its authority.” 

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