Armenia’s Kocharyan released from custody
Armenia’s ex-president Robert Kocharyan was released from custody today, a defense lawyer for Kocharyan, Ruben Sahakyan, said
Sahakyan said the ruling of the Armenian Court of Appeals was based on the presidential immunity. According to Armenian Constitution, 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.
Sahakyan added that Kocharyan is still a suspect in the case, ARKA reported.
Earlier the Office of the Prosecutor-General declined an appeal signed by 46 members of the parliament, to release Kocharyan from custody pending investigation into the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. The lawmakers, the bulk from the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia, guaranteed in writing that Kocharyan will not flee prosecution if set free.
A Yerevan district court on July 27 ruled that the Special Investigative Service could hold Kocharyan for two months in pre-trial detention pending investigation. The case dates back to late February and early March 2008 following the disputed presidential election, when then prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was declared the winner, angering the opposition, led by the first Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosyan and setting off 10 days of nonstop protests that led to a crackdown on March 1, in which 10 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
Kocharyan was charged with toppling constitutional order in collusion with other persons, and the agency has applied to court for a detention warrant.