Armenia: ex-president Kocharyan ends suit against PM Pashinyan
The lawsuit of Robert Kocharyan against Nikol Pashinyan for slander has ended peacefully.
The statement in question was made during a visit of Prime Minister Pashinyan to France in September 2018.
What did Kocharyan think was slanderous?
On September 17, 2018, the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, appealed to the court with a demand to ‘have his honour and dignity protected’, saying the following statement from Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was slanderous:
“… The interpretation of the grounds for the release of Robert Kocharyan. He says he has immunity. What does inviolability mean? So you can organize the killing of people and say ‘I am inviolable?’ Where is that written?”
In July 2018, Robert Kocharian was charged with overthrowing the constitutional order in the March 1, 2008 case. At that time, during a crackdown against demonstrators who did not recognize the results of the presidential elections that had recently been held, military grade weapons were used during which 10 people died – two of whom were law enforcement officials.
Kocharyan was first arrested in the case on July 28. Two weeks later, however, he was released, after a court of appeals ruled that he had immunity give his former status as president.
Lawyer Hayk Alumyan, who represents the interests of the former president, stated during the process: if the defendant did not mean Robert Kocharyan in his statement, then they would renounce the suit.
Pashinyan’s lawyer Gevorg Gezalyan said: he is authorized to report that his client’s statement did not apply to Robert Kocharian.
Thus, the high-profile case, which aroused the interest of all the local media, in an unexpected way ended with an amicable agreement.
More info on the Kocharyan case
After Kocharyan’s release in August 2018, on November 15, the Court of Cassation sent the case to the Court of Appeal for a new investigation. And on December 7, 2018, the appellate court decided to re-arrest the ex-president.
From that day on, the second President of Armenia was again in prison until May 18, 2019. On this day, having considered the petition of Kocharyan’s lawyers to change the preventive measure against him, the judge decided to release him from his arrest.
Judge David Grigoryan took into account the petition of the current and former presidents of Nagorno-Karabakh Bako Sahakyan and Arkady Ghukasyan. They asked the court to change the measure of restraint against Kocharyan under their responsibility, given his “contribution to the formation of the two Armenian republics, his huge contribution to the Karabakh war and the formation of the Armenian army.”
At the same time, the accusation of overthrowing the constitutional order is not the only one in relation to Kocharyan. Since February 2019, another accusation has been filed against him – of receiving a bribe of 927 million drams [about $3 million]. This accusation is connected with the statement that Silva Hambardzumyan, a businesswoman, made against the former president in November 2018.
Now Robert Kocharyan is at large, but the cases against him continue.