Will Kocharyan rat out Sargsyan?

Will Kocharyan rat out Sargsyan?

Aspiration of supporters of Armenia's former Prime Minister and former President Serzh Sargsyan to oppose the government of Nikol Pashinyan is doomed to failure, chairman of the Journalists' Club 'Asparez' Levon Barseghyan said.

According to him, in many respects it is linked to the arrest of the country's second president Robert Kocharyan within the framework of the the investigation over the 2008 March 1 events.

He stressed that Kocharyan may contribute his knowledge to the investigation, on the basis of which other prominent Armenian political and public figures can be brought to criminal responsibility.

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. 

Ex-mayor of Yerevan Vahagn Khachatryan, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the situation is getting quite serious for the ex-president, Kocharyan can actually sentenced to deprivation of liberty.

"Everyone knows what happened 10 years ago. Everyone knows that neither the Defense Minister nor other subordinates would do it without Kocharian's order," he said.

Khachatryan also stressed that the 2008 events remain hard memories for the Armenian public. "Everyone was waiting that those people who gave the order to shoot at the protesters will be punished, so I'm sure, Kocharyan's arrest was taken for granted. Based on the materials submitted by the Investigative Committee, he may face 15 years in prison," the ex-mayor of Yerevan continued.

At the same time he said that the news was still unexpected for many people, since there was a fear that the Pashinyan government would simply close its eyes to the investigation of the crime committed ten years ago.

He added that other persons, in particular Serzh Sargsyan, could be prosecuted as part of the investigation.

"There was an order of the Ministry of Defense No. 0038, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and other officials, the Deputy Prime Minister, as well as people knew that the order was given on February 23, 2008 to disperse the protesters. Those people must be held accountable for their actions on March 1," Khachatryan concluded.

The leading expert of the North-South Political Science Center, Alexander Karavaev, in turn, noted that the judicial investigation of the March 1, 2008 events is in line with the nature of those protests, during which Nikol Pashinyan came to power.

"This is an appeal to justice. And an appeal to justice is more in demand in society. This motive for appeal to justice arises only if there are some events perceived by society as a crime of authorities in relation to society. And the 2008 events  were boundary not only for the opposition, but for the Armenian society as a whole," the expert said.

At the same time, he said that the issue of the need for a real prison sentence for Robert Kocharyan remains largely controversial, as it can rally forces that support the previous government.

Karavaev did not rule out the possibility that Kocharian's arrest could be part of a deal between the new and old political elite.

The expert also drew attention to the fact that the investigation of the March 1, 2008 crimes was one of the conditions for the population's support of Pashinyan.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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