No arrest is being sought for an Armenian judge involved in the trial of former President Robert Kocharian who is currently charged with forgery in connection with a separate case, the Special Investigation Service told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) on Wednesday.
On May 18, Judge Davit Grigorian, who presided over the hearings in the ex-president’s case, controversially ordered Kocharian released from prison pending the outcome of the trial.
He later suspended the trial, questioning the legality of coup charges brought against the former leader and referred the case to the Constitutional Court.
Prosecutors appealed against both decisions, which were condemned by political allies and supporters of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. Armenia’s Court of Appeals overturned them on June 25, which led to Kocharian’s re-arrest.
On July 27, Armenia’s Supreme Judicial Council allowed for the investigation of Judge Grigorian following a petition submitted by the Prosecutor-General’s Office. The oversight body also decided to suspend the judge’s powers pending the investigation.
Three days later the Prosecutor-General’s Office released more details of the criminal case, saying that Grigorian committed official forgery of protocols of hearings at which he was not even physically present. It again categorically denied that attention to the case that was first addressed in February was conditioned by Grigorian’s ruling in the Kocharian trial.
Grigorian’s lawyer Yervand Varosian said his client did not admit to the charge of forgery. He also said that Grigorian believes that “the charge is a direct consequence of his two decisions in the [Kocharian] trial.”
Supporters of Kocharian and other critics of the current government claim that actions of the law-enforcement agencies against Grigorian amount to pressure on the judiciary that undermines its independence.