Law 12:25 05/04/2019 Armenia

Sevak Torosyan: "There is no guarantee that Robert Kocharyan's trial will be conducted in accordance with the principles of a fair trial"

Sevak Torosyan, French advocate for political and financial international criminal cases, joins the team of advocates in the case of Robert Kocharyan, the Second President of the Republic of Armenia. The court session will take place during the upcoming weeks.

-Why have you agreed to defend ex-president Robert Kocharyan who is being accused of "overthrowing of the constitutional order"?

-I was born and have grown up in a country that has 200 years of history of post-revolutionary status. The situation with Robert Kocharyan worries me. All revolutions take place through the same procedure: the stage of euphoria of the society is followed by the stage of cleaning. The revolution always needs an accused for the remission of sins, who bears the punishment for 30 years of tension, injustice and hatred. It is not accidental that one of the Presidents having acted since the independence has been chosen; it is necessary that the person is unique, exceptional to fully bear the responsibility for the consequences of the tension. I have rarely witnessed such atmosphere of hostility during criminal procedure. I realise very well that the events of March 1 are reasons for pain for the whole Armenian nation. Its emotional impact is very big. This may lead to uncertainty between emotional and legal approaches. The procedure will start soon. The President's case will be examined by a judge sitting alone, without collegial examination and without special jurisdiction such as examination by the supreme judicial instance of the Republic. And this all in the atmosphere of unusual hostility. The executive authorities do not cease publicly presenting their position with regard to a judicial case not having completed yet. This is unbelievable. In previous July, the members of the executive body ordered the examining judge to detain the ex-president "irrespective of his will". There is no guarantee, even in case of meeting all the conditions, that the Kocharyan's case will be examined in accordance with a fair trial.

-What importance does the examination of this case have?

-The examination of this case regards Robert Kocharyan to the extent it is a testing of fair trial in Armenia. It is the most important judicial case for independent Armenia. The pressure of a judge sitting alone is huge. Dozens of European institutions will discuss the course, arguments and evidence of the procedure. It will be a great testing of fair trial which will reflect the real democracy of the country or will classify it among virtual democracies. In case of a fair trial, the result may disappoint people some time later. But the justice prevails. Soon, historians will collect the archives, speeches, the positions of both parties, the charges, cases of fraud. Politicians will present their comments, and this will be the legacy left by us. The mentioned has taken place several times in the Western countries. Unfair judges and political leaders are considered to be traitors in history.

-Is Robert Kocharyan subject to criminal liability in your opinion?

-If the President of the Republic of Armenia is subject to criminal liability, then the leaders of all states in the world may be deprived of their liberty. For several months, the movement of the Yellow Jackets has invaded the streets of Paris and the large cities of France. They have all been repeating during months "Macron, leave!". The damages suffered as a result of their actions reach the amount of EUR 300 million. We are not able to walk through Champs-Élysées on Saturdays, where concrete barricades have been installed along the avenue. What should President Macron do? Thousands of Police forces are being mobilised. There are continuously injured people. At present, negotiations are being held around the engagement of troops. How long can the country survive in this situation? How long can a country like Armenia survive in this situation? I have read the charges against President Kocharyan. From the legal point of view, I do not accept the arguments submitted within the scope of the content of Article 300.1 of the Criminal Code and the charges. Frankly speaking, I have never understood the meaning of the term "overthrowing of the constitutional order". Every crime must be defined clearly. Let's be honest, this is a crime of not a criminal but concealed political nature. Crimes of political nature have been prohibited in Europe since 19th century. They are still up-to-date in some African dictatorships. The danger of such uncertain concept is that if it is applied by the court, it will later be a ground for deprivation of liberty of the political opposition, journalists or ordinary citizens acting against the authorities.



Source Panorama.am
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