Court ends prosecution of Armenia’s ex-defense minister under Article 300.1

Panorama, Armenia
April 6 2021

The Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction on Tuesday ruled to end the criminal prosecution against Armenia’s former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan under Article 300.1 of the Criminal Code due to the lack of corpus delicti.

Judge Anna Danibekyan presiding over the trial also lifted a signature bond as a measure of restraint on Ohanyan, as well as the attachment of his movable and immovable property and assets.

The ruling came after Armenia’s Constitutional Court declared Article 300.1 concerning “overthrow of the constitutional order” unconstitutional and invalid on 26 March, stating it runs counter to Articles 78 and 79 of the Constitution dealing with the principles of proportionality and certainty.

The court also ruled to drop charges against former President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, former Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Yuri Khachaturov and former Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan prosecuted under the same article of the penal code.

Kocharyan’s lawyers had filed a motion to the court to end the criminal proceedings citing the Constitutional Court ruling, which was strongly opposed by the trial prosecutors at the April 2 hearing.

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