Boris Bakhshiyan was taken into custody on February 7 two weeks after granting bail to a jailed opposition figure. He rejects accusations leveled against him as government retribution for that decision.
The accusations stem from another decision which Bakhshiyan made during an ongoing trial presided over by him. Prosecutors claim that the 36-year-old judge illegally ordered the arrest of one of the defendants in that trial.
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), a state body overseeing Armenian courts, allowed Bakhshiyan’s arrest despite an uproar from many lawyers and the leadership of Armenia’s Union of Judges.
Bakhshiyan’s lawyer, Arsen Sardarian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Wednesday that a Yerevan court has agreed to allow investigators to hold his client in detention for one more month, until May 7.
In recent months, opposition groups, legal experts and some judges have repeatedly accused the Armenian government of seeking to increase its influence on courts under the guise of judicial reforms. The authorities deny this, insisting that the reforms are aimed at increasing judicial independence.
Armenia’s parliament controlled by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s party approved in February legislation that made it easier for law-enforcement authorities to indict and arrest judges.