Current and Former Artsakh Presidents Call for Kocharian Release

By Asbarez | Tuesday, 07 May 2019

Current and former Artsakh presidents from left Bako Sahakian and Arkady Ghoukassian

Current and former Artsakh presidents from left Bako Sahakian and Arkady Ghoukassian

STEPANAKERT—The current and former presidents of Artsakh, Bako Sahakian and Arkady Ghoukasian, on Tuesday penned a letter addressed to Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s office urging him to release Robert Kocharian from custody ahead of May 9, the anniversary of the liberation of Shushi.

The letter, which was publicized by Sahakian’s press office, emphasizes that on May 9, which is also Victory Day and Artsakh Armed Forces Day, all former leaders of Artsakh Republic, who made a great contribution to the Artsakh war are among the dignitaries who take part in these festivities in Stepanakert and Shushi The two presidents asked the prosecutor general to release Kocharian from custody pending his trial.

“We are ready to give public guarantees that will be necessary for releasing him from detention and remain at large during the entire period of the upcoming legal process,” Sahakian and Ghoukasian said in the letter.

“We hope that your decision will provide an opportunity for all three leaders of Karabakh to participate in the celebration events on May 9 in Stepanakert and Shushi, and this will definitely be a signal of solidarity and unity not for our society only, but for the entire world and the enemy,” the Artsakh leaders said in the letter.

Kocharian was the president of Artsakh from 1994 to 1998. He is custody in Armenia after being charged with breaching Armenia’s constitutional order in relations to a crackdown of post-election protests in March of 2008, which resulted in the death of eight civilians and two police officers.

Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s office issued a statement Kocharian’s status can be changed only by the entity that is carrying out the criminal proceedings—the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction. “Therefore discussing the Presidents’ petition addressed to the Prosecutor General at this phase is not in the General Prosecution’s jurisdiction.”