Kocharyan’s lawyer names biggest omission in ex-president’s trial

Panorama, Armenia

The trial of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan proceeded smoothly in general, despite several serious omissions, his lawyer Aram Orbelyan told a news conference on Friday, summing up the four days of hearings in the case.

According to him, the biggest omission in the trial was that the prosecution was given one more chance to present its arguments than the defense team at Thursday’s hearing.

“This is not the first case we come across. Defense lawyers are not allowed to counter-argue the new allegations of prosecution,” he said.

Orbelyan described the trial as mostly transparent, adding there have been tensions during the hearings, but they are common at ever trial.

He said since the defense team had no chance to present its counterarguments to the state prosecutors during the hearings, they will present them at the news conference.

The four hearings in the ex-president’s trial focused on the defense lawyers’ demands to release Kocharyan from custody pending the outcome of trial.

Also asking presiding judge Davit Grigoryan to free the ex-president are Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan and his predecessor Arkadi Ghukasyan, who appeared before the court on Thursday to personally offer guarantees for his release.

The judge’s decision on the former president’s detention will be made public on Saturday, 18 May.

Kocharyan stands accused of overthrowing the constitutional order in the wake of the 2008 presidential elections. He is also charged with bribe-taking. 

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