The Armenian authorities have brought charges against former president Robert Kocharian, accusing him of breaching the constitutional order and breaking Article 300.1 part 1 of the Criminal Code, The charges are related to incidents in 2008 when government forces violently broke up mass protests against election fraud following presidential elections which saw a victory for Serzh Sargsyan. Robert Kocharian was the outgoing president, and the incidents happened under his watch. A number of senior military and security forces officials are also being investigated. Kocharian served as president of Armenia from 1998-2008. A court is this morning deciding whether to accept a request from the Armenian State Security Service to put Kocharian under pre trail detention.
Ahead of the expected Armenia-Azerbaijan summit, Benyamin Poghosyan argues in this op-ed for commonspace.eu, that the negotiating paradigm based on the Madrid principles is doomed.
"In essence this is an olive branch to the government's critics", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment. "Its significance should not be understated. President Aliyev has in the last weeks been preparing the country for major changes. This presidential pardon may well be the opening shot of more to come".