Former President Kocharyan to be Questioned on Thursday Regarding March 1 Case

Armenia’s former President Robert Kocharyan will present himself to the Special Investigation Service on July 26 to be questioned regarding the March 1 case. Kocharyan’s spokesperson Victor Soghomonyan announced the news during an interview with Armenpress.

On July 3, Kocharyan had received a notice to appear before the Special Investigation Service regarding the killing of ten people in post-election demonstrations that followed the 2008 presidential election.

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.

In the course of 10 years, no one has taken or borne any responsibility, including legal, for the deaths that occurred on March 1.

“You know, at this moment he is not in Armenia, but nothing has changed in what I have said. What I had announced previously, is still in effect. On that date he will be in Armenia, I had announced about it, and he will participate in the questioning,” said Soghomonyan.

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On July 19, head of the Special Investigation Service Sasun Khachatryan announced that Kocharyan had been served with a notice for questioning, and it is predicted that he will attend.

Referring to the intention of the former president’s team to video record the questioning process, Khachatryan said that “it has not been discussed yet.” According to him, recording is possible, however, when it comes to publicizing the material, the authority in charge of the proceeding will decide “to what extent publicize or withhold the recording.”

Asked whether then-opposition leaders, including current PM Pashinyan, who at the time was an active leader of the movement, will be called to testify, the head of the Special Investigation Service said, “No person is off limits, any person who is able to provide information about this criminal case, can be called to testify.”