27 July, 2018 07:19

Arrest Warrant Requested for Armenia’s Former President Robert Kocharyan

Armenia’s second president Robert Kocharyan has been charged with conspiring to overthrow the country’s constitutional order. Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) asked a Yerevan court to hold him in pre-trial custody.

On July 26, Kocharyan appeared before the SIS for questioning as a witness. After the interrogation, he was charged with the crime of overthrowing constitutional order during demonstrations that followed the 2008 presidential election.

Later the same day, Kocharyan said in a televised interview that he was asked to present himself as a witness, but the investigator’s first sentence was that the situation had changed and they are charging him with a crime.

“I, as the president, was the protector of the constitution, its guarantor, and I have somehow destroyed myself in a strange way, with the participation of the army elite. The encroachment on the constitutional order was done by the opposition itself, by Levon Ter-Petrossian, who were announcing that they need to dismantle the state system,” Kocharyan said during the interview.

Kocharyan stressed that two weeks before the elections, Levon Ter-Petrossian had announced that he had been elected president.

“This is far from the truth, this is political persecution, it’s vendetta by the velvet revolution, of love and harmony… I never thought that in our reality it would be possible to create such an artificial criminal case,” said Robert Kocharyan.

“What is happening here is a bomb under Armenia’s statehood,” said Kocharyan.

“I will go, I will sit, and I will struggle until the end. If they think I will escape, well, No,” added the former president.

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On February 19, 2008, following a presidential election Serzh Sargsyan became the president of Armenia while his opponent, the first president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian and his supporters refused to accept the results of the election. The growing rallies and peaceful demonstrations were met with heavy use of force as President Robert Kocharyan announced a state of emergency and army subdivisions entered Yerevan. The situation worsened on March 1, resulting in ten deaths, eight protesters and two policemen, and roughly 300 injuries.'