Putin meets with wife of arrested ex-president of Armenia in Yerevan
As part of his working visit to Yerevan, Vladimir Putin visited the Russian Embassy on October 1, where he met with the wife of ex-President of Armenia Bella Kocharyan.
The meeting took place after a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, in which the Russian president participated.
• Direct talks between Armenian PM, Russian President in Yerevan
It is noteworthy that Putin met with Kocharyan’s wife before starting bilateral talks with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The meeting was confirmed by Robert Kocharyan’s head of office, Viktor Soghomonyan. However, Soghomonyan said he could say “nothing more” in response to questions regarding the details of the meeting.
The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, also confirmed that a meeting had taken place between the President and Kocharyan’s wife. But Peskov also refused to provide details.
In July 2018, the ex-Armenian president Robert Kocharyan was arrested and accused of overthrowing the constitutional order for the violent dispersal of the 2008 protests over the election of Serzh Sargsyan. 10 people were killed.
Details of the meeting with the former first lady emerge
Only the Bagramyan 26 telegram channel writes:
“Bella Kocharyan informed Putin about all the “ violations ” of Kocharyan’s rights that the Armenian justice department* allowed.
Putin expressed sympathy that Kocharyan is still under arrest and regretted that he could not influence the issue of releasing his friend”.
The source reports that Putin denied Bella Kocharyan’s plea to intervene in the situation. He stressed that he could not interfere in the internal affairs of Armenia, because relations with the new authorities are different than with those who led the country before the revolution.
What preceded Putin’s arrival
Vladimir Putin’s arrival in Armenia was actively discussed in political circles and in the media, and was mostly met with doubt.
The Armenian media speculated that Putin’s visit to Yerevan might have something to do with his old friend, Robert Kocharyan. Meanwhile, the Kremlin confirmed that Putin would be in Yerevan only a week prior to the visit.
On the eve of the arrival of the Russian leader, the ex-president of Armenia was taken to one of the medical centers for examination, prompting further speculation.
All details of Robert Kocharian’s case
Kocharyan was charged with responsibility for the 1 March 2008 case back in July 2018 for “overthrowing the constitutional order.”
Following the presidential elections of 19 February 2008, the Armenian opposition and supporters of first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan came out onto the street to protest the election results which they said had been rigged, after the Central Election Commission announced Serzh Sargsyan the victor.
During the dispersal of the demonstration, military weapons were used and 10 people were killed, including two policemen.
The president of the country at that time was Robert Kocharyan.
Up until the Velvet Revolution of 2018, the investigation of the 1 March 2008 case did not move forward.
However the new government, headed by revolutionary leader Nikol Pashinyan, immediately took up the case.
Kocharyan was first arrested on July 28 in the case – however two weeks later, he was released, as a court ruled he had immunity.
After Kocharyan’s release in August 2018, on November 15, the Court of Cassation sent the case to the Court of Appeals.
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 that day, Kocharyan was released on bail, after the current and former presidents of Nagorno Karabakh, Bako Sahakyan and Arkady Ghukasyan, vowed to act as guarantors and asked the judge to take into consideration Kocharyan’s “contribution to the formation of the two Armenian republics, his enormous contribute to the Karabakh war and the formation of the Armenian army.”
Kocharyan stands accused of one other crime.
In February 2019, Kocharyan was charged of receiving a bribe of 927 million drams [about $3 million].
Kocharyan said that the second case was initiated against him in order to seize his assets, which the first charge was unable to do.
The ex-president does not recognize any of the accusations against him and considers them a political order and vendetta of the current Armenian authorities.