An appeals court in Yerevan has granted bail to another opposition member who was charged in connection with a recent rally in the Armenian capital.
David Sanasarian was arrested on July 29 along with two other leading members of his parliamentary Heritage party and another opposition activist on charges of organizing mass disturbances during public protests on that day and was remanded to pretrial detention earlier this month.
The court on Friday ordered Sanasarian, who serves as a member of Yerevan’s Municipal Assembly with an opposition faction, to pay 1.5 million drams (about $3,150) to be freed pending trial.
Earlier this week, Heritage’s deputy chairman Armen Martirosian, who is also being prosecuted on the same charge, was freed on bail paying 1 million drams (about $2,100).
Armenia - Opposition leaders Andrias Ghukasian (C), Armen Martirosian (R) and Davit Sanasarian lead an anti-government march in Yerevan, 29Jul2016.
Next week, the appeals court is expected to consider requests for the change of pretrial detention rulings from Heritage’s Hovsep Khurshudian and former presidential candidate, “Rise Up, Armenia” movement activist Andrias Ghukasian, both of whom are also accused of organizing mass disturbances.
The four oppositionists face between four and 10 years in prison under the charge that they categorically deny. They claim they are victims of political persecution.
The latest court ruling to release Sanasarian on bail comes two days after the Heritage party announced it was pulling out of local elections because of the criminal prosecution of its leading members on “fabricated” charges. It added that it will not take part in the elections scheduled to be held in September-October.