The Court of Appeal did not grant the appeal of Robert Kocharyan’s defenders to release him on bail and did not overturn the decision of the first instance court to prolong his custody for two months.
In fact, the participation of the second president in the session of the Court of Appeal and his speech did not help. His advocates explained that unlike his decision not to participate in the sittings on the motions for releasing on bail Robert Kocharyan took seriously the possibility of the Court of Appeal and thought that his participation would matter.
In fact, it was useless. There is another interesting circumstance. Alongside with Robert Kocharyan’s speech there was another “speech” on the same days. Serzh Sargsyan was reportedly questioned in the Special Investigative Service for six hours. Information about this appeared in press, and the Special Investigative Service did not refute. According to press reports, Serzh Sargsyan was questioned as a witness on February 1. It was almost at the same time when Robert Kocharyan was making a speech during the court hearing on releasing him on bail.
The two events are not interrelated but, interestingly, the prosecutors took the strategic step of questioning Serzh Sargsyan as a witness along with the examination of the motion for releasing Robert Kocharyan on bail at the Court of Appeal.
Did this step by the SIS give additional arguments for Kocharyan’s custody, which enabled the known decision of the court. Of course, it is hard to tell but the parallel is interesting, considering that different public circles kept wondering since Robert Kocharyan was charged why the investigative body does not summon Serzh Sargsyan.
Sargsyan was prime minister, the leader of the parliamentary majority on 1 March 2008. He certainly knows a lot about the situation and decisions inside the government on those days. According to press information, Serzh Sargsyan’s questioning is not over. Did he say what was needed to prolong the custody of the second president and left the rest for the future?
These are rhetorical questions, or questions “hanging in the air” and perhaps later it will become known what Serzh Sargsyan said as a witness, and what else is left to share after about six hours of questioning. Has Serzh Sargsyan resisted and said less or does he have a lot more to say but so far he is happy to say as much as is needed to keep the second president in custody?