Yesterday, at the start of the trial of Robert Kocharyan, the supporters of the second president went on protest. During the protest someone hit with a water bottle and injured the cheekbone of the political activist Vardges Gaspari.
It happened after Gaspari protested against Robert Kocharyan and toughly criticized the second president and his advocates. In answer, they hit him and used violence, as well as offensive expressions.
Gaspari and Kocharyan’s supporters have their own understanding of the second president’s tenure, character, political biography, just like any other representative of the society. In addition, in this case the correlation of opinions is not important. And perhaps it is not important that part of the opinions may be paid. At the end of the day, paid opinions on public and political reality were almost always available in the Armenian setting, and sometimes were even dominant, until the velvet revolution.
The problem is different. Although Robert Kocharyan’s supporters and barristers say that he is undergoing a political persecution or vendetta, that his custody is unlawful, it is beyond doubt that the court case is the best option for Robert Kocharyan to “prove” this, at least at the conscious or subconscious levels of the public. In addition, during the trial, as Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan said, all the former three presidents will be involved with different statuses, different high-ranking officials, in other words, the entire former system.
Robert Kocharyan and his team have maximum possibilities to “acquit” their defendant at least in the eyes of the public. The problem is not how the “acquittal” is presented but demonstrating that he was not the worst figure in the former government, or he was not more responsible for what happened in Armenia than other high-ranking officials.
Whether the attitude of the public towards Kocharyan will change or not is a different issue. It depends on both the credibility of Robert Kocharyan’s arguments and several other factors. Including the behavior of his advocates.
In this regard, what Kocharyan’s supporters did was hitting Robert Kocharyan with a water bottle. Has anyone been “remunerated” for such behavior or was it an internal urge? It does not matter. They did strike, and considering some circumstances, the second president would find it easier to defend himself from criminal charges than the hit with the water bottle.