Armenia’s Ex-Foreign Minister Remains In Custody


Interfax News Agency
May 19 2008

Armenia’s Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling extending
ex-Foreign Minister Alexander Arzumanian’s term in custody, an Interfax
correspondent reported from the court.

Arzumanian was arrested on March 10 on charges of attempted coup. A
court extended his detention by two months on May 5.

After an appeal filed by the ex-foreign minister’s defense lawyer
was heard, the Court of Appeals ruled to keep Arzumanian in custody.

Following the February 19 presidential election, the Armenian
opposition led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, who ran in the
presidential election, rejected the election results and staged large-
scale protest rallies, which deteriorated into clashes with police
on March 1. Ten people died and more than 250 sustained injuries in
the clashes.

Fifty-four people were arrested and remain in custody after the mass
unrest on March 1.

Armenia’s Special Investigation Service had sent 40 criminal cases
in relation to 43 people to the courts, and the National Security
Service had sent 49 criminal cases involving 52 participants in the
unrest as of May 12.

Ter-Petrosian’s supporters have not acknowledged the outcome of the
election to this day.

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