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Court Extends Detention Of Ex-President Kocharian


Former President Robert Kocharian gives an interview to Russia's NTV television channel, Yerevan, 28Aug2018

A court in Yerevan on Friday extended by two months the pretrial detention of Robert Kocharian, a lawyer for the former Armenian president said after the court session.

Aram Orbelian also said he would appeal the decision.

Kocharian was again arrested in December more than four months after being charged with overthrowing the constitutional order during the final weeks of his decade-long rule that ended in April 2008. He denies the accusations as politically motivated.

Earlier this month the Special Investigative Service (SIS) asked the court to extend Kocharian’s arrest for the second time since his re-arrest late last year. The court granted the request.

Kocharian’s lawyers have dismissed the SIS’s case against their client as groundless and politically motivated.

Kocharian is specifically accused of illegally using Armenian army units against opposition supporters who protested against alleged fraud in a disputed presidential election held in February 2008. Law-enforcement authorities say that amounted to an overthrow of the constitutional order.

Eight protesters and two policemen were killed when security forces quelled the protests on March 1-2, 2008. Kocharian declared a three-week state of emergency on that night.

The 64-year-old ex-president says the accusations are part of incumbent Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s political “vendetta” waged against him.

Pashinian played a key role in the 2008 protests and spent nearly two years in prison because of that. He has strongly defended the criminal case against Kocharian and denied orchestrating it.

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