Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Armenia's Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court ruling that released former President Robert Kocharian from pretrial detention and suspended his trial on charges of overthrowing the constitutional order during the final weeks of his decade-long rule that ended in 2008.

As a result, the appeal court said on June 25 that it was upholding a complaint that prosecutors filed in May after his release.

Kocharian is accused of ordering the army to suppress nonstop street demonstrations against the outcome of a presidential election that officially gave victory to Kocharian's hand-picked successor, Serzh Sarkisian.

Ten people, including two security officers, were killed in what is considered the worst street violence in Armenia since it regained independence in 1991.

On May 18, a Yerevan court said the 64-year-old Kocharian, who had been in pretrial detention since his arrest in December, could be released after leaders from Nagorno-Karabakh said they would vouch for him and guaranteed that he would appear in court when the trial resumes.

Two days later, the court suspended the criminal proceedings, saying it was sending the case to the Constitutional Court over Kocharian's status as either a private person or a president.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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