Kocharian Released on $4.2 Million Bail

Armenia's former presidenr Robert Kocharian in court
Armenia's former presidenr Robert Kocharian in court

Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharian in court

YEREVAN (Azatutyun.am)—Armenia’s Court of Appeals ordered on Thursday that Robert Kocharian be released from prison on bail pending the outcome of the ongoing trial of the former president facing coup and corruption charges denied by him.

Anna Danibekyan, a district court judge presiding over the trial, again refused to grant Kocharian bail or free him on health grounds on May 13. His lawyers appealed against both decisions.

The Court of Appeals overturned one of those decisions over prosecutors’ objections. It set a 2 billion-dram ($4.2 million) bail for the release of the man who ruled Armenia from 1998-2008.

Kocharian personally assured the court on Wednesday that he will not go into hiding or obstruct justice if set free. “Had I been a fleeing person, I would not have had such a biography in the first place,” he said.

The prosecution insisted, however, that Kocharian could obstruct justice and should therefore remain under arrest. They said they will challenge in the Court of Appeals ruling in the higher Court of Cassation.

Kocharian’s lawyers welcomed the ruling. But one of them, Aram Vartevanyan, questioned the “unprecedented” amount of the bail set by a Court of Appeals judge, Arsen Nikoghosyan. Vartevanyan would not say whether his client can pay the hefty sum.

Kocharian said in the courtroom on Wednesday that his assets remain frozen and that he can only use his children’s properties as bail collateral. His lawyers told the court afterwards that 700 million drams worth of such assets belonging to his younger son Levon and daughter Gayane could be used for this purpose.

The 65-year-old ex-president has been kept in a Yerevan hospital since undergoing another surgery there in late April. Last month another court allowed him to stay there until the end of the coronavirus pandemic. Armenia’s Penitentiary Service appealed against that decision.

Kocharian was held in Yerevan’s Kentron jail prior to his hospitalization. His lawyers have insisted in recent months that the COVID-19 pandemic is another reason why he should be freed. Law-enforcement authorities have dismissed those demands, saying that his chances of catching the disease at Kentron are minimal.

Kocharian, his former chief of staff and two retired army generals went on trial more than a year ago on charges mostly stemming from the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan. The ex-president also stands accused of bribery. He rejects all accusations leveled against him as politically motivated.

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6 Comments

  1. Barséghian Ardachèce said:

    To initiate political reforms it is necessary to build the state from the judicial administration with a total, absolute renewal, of executives knowing that this administration was tailor-made so that the mafia system could allegrely persevere. The nation, like Mr. Sassounian, is asking for one of the eminent personalities of the diaspora, all the stronger since the popular movement led by Mr. Pachinyan, who has hunted 30 years of autocratic, mafia-driven rule, that this famous diaspora parliament be constituted by way of community election. Mr Hamparian, you have a heavy political, national, social, I dare say you have a duty to concrete this national ambition because you know better than anyone the threats invade this national society stemming or heritiere of Soviet-communist mortiferes values, which I have seen and lived for 29 years. These successive rulers until Mr. Pachinyan have been lost in a complex of inferiority since the implosion of the Soviet system, ignoring the diaspora by political tradition, claiming, alone, to have sufficient competence to solve 80 years of an anti-national heritage, totalitarian by the dictatorship of the thinker and the Single Party. Yes, the endogenous intellectual forces exist but can only be exercised favourably through a Supreme Council… national, pan-Armenian, diaspora-governors. You have in your ranks or close so many eminent personalities ready to serve the nation through such a structure, our Party has proven it for more than 100 years. Thanks, I still dare, you have this political moral obligation, the peTo engage in political reforms it is necessary to build the state from the judicial administration with a total, absolute renewal, executives knowing that this administration was tailor-made so that the mafia system could allegre persevere. The nation, like Mr. Sassounian, is asking for one of the eminent personalities of the diaspora, all the stronger since the popular movement led by Mr. Pachinyan, who has hunted 30 years of autocratic, mafia-driven rule, that this famous diaspora parliament be constituted by way of community election. Mr Hamparian, you have a heavy political, national, social, I dare say you have a duty to concrete this national ambition because you know better than anyone the threats invade this national society stemming or heritiere of Soviet-communist mortiferes values, which I have seen and lived for 29 years. These successive rulers up to M. Pachinyan got lost in an inferiorite complex since the implosion of the Soviet system, ignoring the diaspora by political tradition after the Armenian Bolsheviks were sold our nation to the Russians in 1921-22, they claimed, alone, to have sufficient skills to solve 80 years of anti-national heritage, totalitarian by the dictatorship of the thinker and the Single Party. These new policies, vicious, arrogant, grandiloquent who want to teach the diaspora or even the world the concepts of democracy, capitalism, nationalism, socialism have led us to disaster for 30 years. So, yes, the endogenous intellectual forces exist but can only be exercised favourably through a Supreme Council… national, pan-Armenian, diaspora-governors. You have in your ranks, close, your networks, so many eminent personalities ready to serve the nation through such a structure, our Party has proven it for more than 100 years. Thank you, I dare still, Mr Hamparian, you have this political moral obligation to realize this structure, the people as a whole, first of all “MECHAGS PANVORS” from which I come, awaits you.uple in its entirety awaits you.

  2. Norin said:

    Wow, with all of his “assets frozen” so that he cannot pay the otherwise payable amount of $4,200,000. This criminal’s son and little Levonik son are ready to put up AMD 700,000,000 which is rightly $1,500,000? Wow, and where did little Levonik and his sister find this amount from? Between the couch cushions? From their father’s humble 10 year salary as President?

    All stolen money from Armenia’s coffers. Money that should have been invested into Armenia’s farmland, infrastructure, military, and social services. Lock him up and throw away the key along with his sons. All criminals!

  3. Armenuhi said:

    This was the most perfect way of showing the level of banditism going on in the poorest country! Ex-bandit prez w/salary almost equal of that i pay to my gardener is capable of producing $4.2 mln ? But the poor man’s “ASSETS” are frozen, so his poor CHILDREN are capable of producing $1.5 mln? Let’s check another poor man’s assets – Sergik? Satkek bantoom, gox-avazakner!

  4. Satenik said:

    And how did they get such a large amount?- through hard work ?No !

  5. joe said:

    where does he get 4.2 million dollars? Just another Armenian thief stealing from Armenians because he can, so his life is for the better. Traitor. Should be hung..

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