Armenia stops persecution of Kocharyan under article on overthrowing the system

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Armenia stops persecution of Kocharyan under article on overthrowing the system

A court in Yerevan ended the criminal prosecution of former Armenian President Robert Kocharian under the article on overthrowing the constitutional order. This was reported by Novosti Armenii agency with reference to the judge's decision.

The criminal prosecution was terminated on the basis of the absence of the fact of a crime.

Kocharian, as well as former CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and former Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan were accused of overthrowing the constitutional order in 2008.

On March 26, the Constitutional Court of Armenia declared the article under which they were accused contradicting two articles of the Constitution and invalid. “The Constitutional Court found Article 300.1 to be undefined from the point of view of law and the incriminated act. It is not clear what kind of system is being overthrown, given that the article was adopted under one current Constitution, and they tried to apply it under another, ”Novosti Armenii reported. After the decision of the Constitutional Court, the lawyers demanded to stop the criminal prosecution of the accused under this article.

Armenia stops persecution of Kocharyan under article on overthrowing the system

As a result, the court terminated the criminal prosecution of Khachaturov and Ohanyan. Under this article, it was also terminated in relation to Kocharyan and Gevorkyan, but they were also charged with another charge – of taking a bribe on an especially large scale. A meeting on this case will be held on April 13.

The case under the article on overthrowing the constitutional order against Kocharyan and others was initiated in 2018 as part of an investigation into the riots that took place in Armenia in February-March 2008. Then the opposition, dissatisfied with the results of the presidential elections, organized rallies. The protests turned into riots and clashes between demonstrators and security forces. As a result, ten people were killed (including two police officers), more than 250 were injured.

Kocharian linked his persecution with “personal violence” and stated that the main organizer of the March 2008 demonstrations in Yerevan was the current Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.

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