Kocharyan has been charged with 'overthrowing constitutional order'
An arrest warrant was issued by the court on 26 July for Robert Kocharyan, the second president of Armenia [1998 – 2008] after he was questioned regarding the events of 1 March 2008 in Yerevan.
Protesters took to the streets on 20 February 2008 after the presidential elections came to a close. Supporters of Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the first president of Armenia who was running for re-election, did not agree with the Central Election Commission who had announced that Serzh Sargsyan had won the election. Meanwhile, the opposition claimed that numerous violations had taken place during the elections. They then rallied their supporters on the streets.
Police cleared Liberty Square, the main gathering place for the protests, by force on the morning of 1 March. New clashes broke out between the police and protesters later that day. Robert Kocharyan, the acting president at the time, imposed a state of emergency, after which the army and military were then deployed. Ten people were killed while the protests were being dispersed. The case regarding the deaths has yet to be solved.
“After investigating the evidence obtained in the the criminal case pertaining to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008, former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan was charged on 26 July with ‘overthrowing constitutional order’. On the same day, a petition was submitted to the court to arrest him as a preventive measure,” the authorities said.
Former Defence Minister Mikael Harutyunyan who had previously been involved in this case was also charged. He has been put on the wanted list in a criminal case launched under the same article – ‘overthrowing constitutional order’.