Роберт Кочарян (Фото: Ваган Степанян / РИА Новости)

Роберт Кочарян (Фото: Ваган Степанян / РИА Новости)

The second Armenian President, Robert Kocharyan, was charged with overthrowing the constitutional order of Armenia. The case against the former president began with NikolPashinyan"s coming to power.

Armenian President Robert Kocharian is charged with overthrowing the constitutional order of Armenia, reported the press service of the Special Investigation Service of the Republic on July 26.

"Based on the sufficiency of the evidence collected in the preliminary investigation of the criminal case on the events of March 1-2, 2008, on July 26, 2018, former Armenian President Robert Kocharian was charged under the first part of Article 300.1 of the Criminal Code of Armenia for the collusion with other persons to overthrow the constitutional order of the Republic of Armenia,"the statement said.

In accordance with Part 1 of Art. 300.1 of the Criminal Code (overthrowing the constitutional system of Armenia with the use of violence, as well as seizing the powers of the president of Armenia, parliament, Constitutional Court or government in a manner not provided for by the Constitution) Kocharyan faces up to 15 years of imprisonment.

In February-March 2008, a series of protests against violations in the presidential elections held on February 19 took place in Armenia. The rallies were organized by supporters of the candidate in this election - the first president of Armenia LevonTer-Petrosyan. Among the organizers of the demonstrations was the current Prime Minister of Armenia NikolPashinyan. The election won the then, Prime Minister of Armenia SerzhSarkissian, who had resigned in April of this year. This happened against the backdrop of massive anti-government actions organized by NikolPashinyan.

On March 1, at least eight demonstrators and one soldier were killed during the clash between the protesters and the law enforcers, so the case, withwhich Kocharyan is charged, is called in Armenia "the March 1 case." Protests ended after Kocharyan introduced a state of emergency - it came into force on the night of March 2.

After the riots Pashinyan was put on the wanted list. He voluntarily surrendered to the authorities, and in January 2010 he was convicted for seven years on charges of organizing riots. In May 2011, Pashinyan was released on an amnesty in honor of the 20th anniversary of Armenia's independence.

On July 20 of this year Pashinyan stated that the trial in the case of Kocharyan should not turn into political violence.

The laws of Armenia do not prevent the presentation of criminal accusations to the country's ex-presidents, said the director of the Yerevan Center for Political and Legal Studies Johnny Melikyan. However, he draws attention to the fact that the Article under which Kocharyan is being charged was introduced into the Criminal Code after the events described in the case. Most of people in Armenia support the actions of the new authorities, and demand to clarify the events of 2008, as in recent years this topic has been a political taboo, the expert points out .-- 0--

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