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Court orders release of ex-President Robert Kocharyan

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A Yerevan court today approved the personal guarantees from Artsakh’s President Bako Sahakyan and ex-President Arkady Ghukasyan to free former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan from pre-trial detention.

Judge David Grigoryan delivered the verdict today, on May 18th.

Supporters of Kocharyan in the courtroom began cheering.


Rival demonstrations are taking place outside the courthouse. 

On May 16, Artsakh’s President Bako Sahakyan and former President Arkady Ghukasyan personally arrived at the Yerevan court to vouch for the release of Kocharyan, who also served as President of Artsakh in the early 90s. The court adjourned to examine the personal guarantees. Sahakyan and Ghukasyan vouched that Kocharyan will not obstruct justice.

Kocharyan, along with several other former officials, is charged with “overthrowing Constitutional Order” during the 2008 March protests in Yerevan when 8 protesters and 2 security officers died. The former President is accused of unlawfully ordering the military to intervene. He vehemently denies wrongdoing.

2nd President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, who ruled the country from 1998 to 2008, spent two weeks in jail in summer of 2018, but was eventually freed. But on December 7, a higher court overruled the release and ordered him to be remanded into custody pending trial again.

At the time the court announced the verdict, Kocharyan turned himself in to authorities.

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