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Kocharian Has Another Operation


Armenia -- Former President Robert Kocharian is brought to a courtroom in Yerevan, May 8, 2020.

Armenia’s jailed former President Robert Kocharian underwent surgery on Tuesday for the second time in seven months.

Kocharian’s office said that the operation went according to plan and that he is now in a “satisfactory” condition. It did not reveal the medical condition he suffered from.

Kocharian, who is standing trial on corruption and coup charges strongly denied by him, was already operated on at Yerevan’s Izmirlian Medical Center in October. He was again the taken to the private hospital on April 28 for what one of his lawyers described as a “post-operative checkup.”

Earlier this spring, Kocharian spent more than three weeks in another hospital after complaining of blood pressure fluctuations. He was sent back to prison on April 3.

Kocharian’s lawyers have since repeatedly demanded his release from custody on health grounds, saying that he risks being infected with coronavirus. They say that 65-year-old is in a COVID-19 high-risk group because of his age and health problems.

The lawyers reiterated their demands on Friday when a Yerevan court resumed the high-profile trial of Kocharian and three other former officials prosecuted on charges mostly stemming from the 2008 post-election unrest in the Armenian capital.

Three former Armenian prime ministers also attended the court hearing to ask the presiding judge, Anna Danibekian, to free Kocharian pending the outcome of the trial. Danibekian is scheduled to respond to these petitions on Wednesday.

Kocharian rejects all charges leveled against him as politically motivated.

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