Kocharian Accuses Prosecution of Withholding Evidence

Former president Robert Kocharian addresses the court during the fourth day of his trial on May 16 (Photo by Armenpress)
Former president Robert Kocharian addresses the court during the fourth day of his trial on May 16 (Photo by Armenpress)

Former president Robert Kocharian addresses the court during the fourth day of his trial on May 16 (Photo by Armenpress)

Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharian, who is on trial on charges of breaching the country’s constitutional order, accused the prosecution on Thursday of withholding key evidence that could clear his name on the fourth day of trial, which also included testimony by the current and former presidents of Artsakh in support of Kocharian’s release and the judge’s ruling to continue the day’s hearing behind closed doors.

Kocharian, who is accused of ordering security forces to fire on post-election opposition protesters in March, 2008, told the court that video showing protesters firing guns and throwing grenades at police officers is being withheld by the prosecution. He elaborated that the National Security Service-shot video depicts a protester firing a gun during the March 1, 2008 standoff between security forces and the protesters, which resulted in the death of eight civilians and two police officers. His defense attorney submitted a copy of the video to the presiding judge David Grigoyan.

Kocharian also added that the said video was part of a trove of other videos shown to him by then NSS director Gorik Hakobyan a few days following the March 1, 2008 incidents that, he claimed, contained graphic evidence of protesters firing weapons and grenades. The former president claimed that one of the videos showed how a police captain—the first police officer to be killed on March 1, was killed from a grenade allegedly thrown by a protester. He also added that all videos were included in the original March 1, 2008 case file. He said now those pieces of evidence were missing from the prosecution’s file.

The prosecution and the National Security Service, which conducted the Kocharian investigation, did not immediately respond to Kocharian’s allegation about withholding evidence.

Artsakh President Bako Sahakian embraces former president Robert Kocharian upon arriving n court on May 13 (Photo by Armenpress)

Artsakh President Bako Sahakian embraces former president Robert Kocharian upon arriving n court on May 13 (Photo by Armenpress)

Kocharian’s testimony was followed by the arrival of the current and former Artsakh presidents, Bako Sahakian and Arakdy Ghukassian, who last week had submitted a letter urging the release of Kocharian, who has been in custody awaiting a trial. During Wednesday’s session, Grigoryan, the judge, had summoned the two Artsakh leaders to make their case for Kocharian’s release in person.

Sahakian and Ghukassian reiterated their request to the court to free Kocharian saying that they personally would guarantee his bail and ensure that he does not hinder the criminal investigation and appears in court as the trial continues.

“We guarantee his appearance in court during the entire trial and implementation of judicial duties. Therefore we ask to replace the current detention order with a precautionary measure not linked with detention,” the two Artsakh presidents told the court. Kocharian was also president of Artsakh from 1994 to 1997.

Following this testimony, Kocharian’s defense team asked the judge to continue the remainder of Thursday’s session behind closed doors, and requested that Sahakian and Ghukassian remain in the courtroom.

Judge Grigoyan ruled in favor of the defense’s motion, but asked Sahakian and Ghukassian to leave the courtroom and continued the trial behind closed doors, where reportedly confidential information would be presented to the court.

It was announced later Thursday that the judge will announce his ruling on Kocharian’s remand on May 18.


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  1. Mgl said:

    Pashanyan must release Kocharian and put in jail his former patron Levon.

    • Norin said:

      And why only Levon and not Kocharian as well? If some people argue Levon was the starter of all the corruption, then Kocharian allowed it to continue and also participated in stealing and pillaging the state to enrich himself and his two bratty lowlife sons. Ever heard of the Spayka group? How did a chubby brat like Koch’s older son come to control a gigantic enterprise like that? And what grandiose business aptitude did Koch have that allows him to live the lux life? Hard work perhaps, or raping state coffers? And this show of “Karabakh Solidarity” by Sahakian and Akardy was disgusting and is exactly the type of behavior that perpetuated corruption during the Koch and Serjik years. These corrupt, lowlife, scummy dynasties need to be brought to an end, Armenia belongs to its people, not to some two bit self proclaimed “albanaci” dirtbag and his disgusting family.

  2. Hye said:

    and I’m accusing of kocharyan being enemy of Armenia and Armenians.

  3. Edward Demiraiakian said:

    You might consider that Kocharian was not going to be politically active. But you awaken him and others and now you have a domestic opposition. Or perhaps I don’t know much and he was already conspiring. At this time and with the great trial coming, we need to quickly resolve our differences and concentrate on issues that matter. The demographic problem can be resolved, but like the weather, …..but no one does anything about it. Studies have been completed for years, and they all say that the average Armenian family cannot afford the loss of one income, and the subsequent costs of feeding the additional child. So, unlike their Muslim neighbors who practice no birth control, and rely on Allah to provide, the Armenians practice birth control and have a high rate of early termination. The government could change the numbers if it were to intercept the Abortionist. However, “homes” have to be set up where women could be housed until the birth, with choices such as keeping the child with State support, State or private adoption, or the state fostering the children to elderly couples throughout the country, with sufficient monthly stipends to raise the children. It’s all about money. I think that a state and private partnership with massive fund drives all over the world,” could accomplish this. A hundred dollars a month per child would change demographics, and the lives of the poorest in Armenian society. Someone start a “Go fund me site”.

  4. Arman said:

    Kocharyan has lost the connection with reality. His entire speech referred to a dead man as a proof (former chief of national security service) which s an indicator that he is in total disaster and has no other credible defence strategy.