Kocharian and three other former officials were prosecuted in connection with the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. Anna Danibekian, a district court judge presiding over their trial, acquitted them in early April ten days after the country’s Constitutional Court declared the charges unconstitutional.
The trial prosecutors appealed against the acquittal. One of them, Gevorg Baghdasarian, said on Monday that the Court of Appeals must allow investigators to charge the defendants with abuse of power and order Danibekian to resume the high-profile trial.
Baghdasarian said that is also essential for protecting the rights of the families of eight opposition protesters and two police servicemen killed in street clashes that broke out in Yerevan in the wake of a disputed 2008 presidential election.
The vote was held less than two months before Kocharian completed his second and final term in office.
Kocharian, his former chief of staff Armen Gevorgian and two retired army generals reject the accusations leveled against them as politically motivated. Lawyers representing them maintain that Danibekian’s decision to clear them of the alleged “overthrow of the constitutional order” stemmed from Armenian law.
The judge also ruled on April 6 that Kocharian and Gevorgian will continue to stand trial on bribery charges which they also strongly deny. Court hearings on that case resumed in July.
Kocharian, who is highly critical of Armenia’s current leadership, was first arrested in July 2018 shortly after the “velvet revolution” that brought Pashinian to power. He was set free on bail in June 2020.
The ex-president, who will turn 67 on Tuesday, set up an opposition alliance in May this year. It finished second in parliamentary elections held on June 20.