The ex-president Robert Kocharyan’s custody is not legitimate, and he must be released immediately, Kocharyan’s advocate Ruben Sahakyan stated in court.
The advocate referred to the case of the former foreign minister Alexander Arzumanyan when he was charged with actions aimed at toppling the constitutional order in Armenia after the 2008 events. According to Sahakyan, aside from Arzumanyan 27 people were charged but prosecution was discontinued considering that Article 300.1 of the Code was considered to have no retrospective power.
“The ongoing is determined by the change of government, today a person has come to power who should have been charged under this clause but was not because he was a fugitive. The prosecutors say at that time they did something else, today we have this stance,” Sahakyan said.
According to Ruben Sahakyan, if before the adoption of Article 300.1 Robert Kocharyan, Seiran Ohanyan, Yuri Khachatrov and Armen Gevorgyan were charged under Article 300, their prosecution would also be discontinued.
“This is a primitive idea. Thus Mr. Kocharyan is accused of an act which was not a crime in 2008, hence he cannot be remanded in custody,” the advocate said.
Sahakyan inquired whether anyone has tried to examine the explanation that Robert Kocharyan gave in the former sittings of the court on order 0038. He said it was done to rule out the involvement of political forces in political processes. According to him, a president is not a person who acts single-handedly, there are checks and balances, he must consult the Speaker of the National Assembly and the head of the government and then address people.
“After the publication of the order 41 members of parliament got together and decided to approve it. There are members of parliament who voted for it. Thus, to say that the president of Armenia acted on purpose, and nobody held his hand. This is absurd. Now bring those 41 members of parliament, let them hold them responsible,” the barrister says.
On the other hand, according to him, the Constitutional Court had the right to void the order but did not do. And in this situation they are saying that Kocharyan alone committed a crime which, according to Sahakyan, is not correct. “I am sure that they would consider the president a criminal if he did not make such a decision,” he added.