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Armenia

IF IT WEREN’T FOR RUSSIAN BASE IN ARMENIA, THERE WOULDN’T BE ANY ARMENIANS IN KARABAKH’

The Azeri Times

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LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky in the program ’60 Minutes’ aired on Wednesday evening on Russia 1 TV channel said that without Russian bases in Gyumri and Yerevan, Armenians in Karabakh would no longer exist. He said that while commenting on Armenia’s desire to move away from Russia.

‘Only because our army is in Armenia, the Armenians of Karabakh live calmly, in a peaceful atmosphere,’ Zhirinovsky added.

Responding during the talk show on the question of Russia’s participation in inter-ethnic conflicts in the post-Soviet space, the leader of the Liberal Democrats said that Russia ‘protects and saves the population of the entire former USSR.’

‘In Transnistria, people were cut out, a Russian militiaman was quartered, girls were raped in 1992,’ Zhirinovsky said. ‘There was a genocide, a civil war. The Russian army stopped everything, you have to kneel before the Russian army.

If in the Donbas they did not press the Russians and kill them, there would not be such a thing today…

We saved Ossetians and Abkhazians… We will protect and save the population of the entire former USSR. We will not get into Canada and Africa, but we will defend everyone who was in the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, regardless of nationality.’

Armenia

“Murderer!” – shouts Yerevan activists while thwarting ex-president’s press conference

The Azeri Times

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“Murderer!” and “He has no place in Armenia” screamed dozens of activists who arrived at former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan’s press conference on 14 August, the day after his release.

Kocharyan was remanded into custody on 28 July on charges of breaching constitutional order and his involvement in the deaths of ten people during the 2008 protests while president of Armenia. However, he was freed from custody after the Court of Appeals ruled that his remandment was illegal. Kocharyan’s lawyer Ruben Sahakyan told reporters that his release was based on a provision in the constitution which grants a former president immunity.

The activists were mainly students who participated in Armenia’s recent ‘velvet revolution’, as a result of which the country saw a peaceful change in power. They told journalists who were expecting the appearance of the former president that they intended to disrupt his press conference.

As a result, Robert Kocharyan’s security officers left the hall, and it soon became apparent that he had left the business centre where the appearance was scheduled.

Robert Kocharyan was the President of Armenia from 1998 to 2008. He was arrested in connection with the events that took place on 1 and 2 March, 2008: following the presidential elections on 18 February 2008, political bloc supporters headed by the first president of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, demanded an investigation into the election results, claiming Levon Ter-Petrosyan won the election instead of Kocharyan. Thousands of protesters occupied the central square in Yerevan, taking part in round-the-clock demonstrations until 1 March.

On 1 March, military-grade weapons were used to disperse the crowds. Eight civilians and two police officers were killed in the process. Kocharyan was still president of the country at the time. According to data from the Central Electoral Commission, President Serzh Sargsyan was elected. However, he had not yet taken office.

Victor Soghomonyan, the head of the former president’s office, accused the new Armenian authorities of disrupting the press conference.

“As you have seen, the authorities are afraid of what Robert Kocharyan intended to say. That’s why they directed their activists to disrupt the conference,” Soghomonyan told reporters.

Robert Kocharyan previously said that he considers the case against him to be politically motivated.

Kocharyan’s representatives are expected to make a statement at a later time.

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Armenia

Kocharyan Freed By Court

The Azeri Times

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Former President Robert Kocharian was released from custody on Monday immediately after Armenia’s Court of Appeals ruled that he cannot be prosecuted for the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan.

A panel of three senior judges overturned a lower court’s decision to allow law-enforcement authorities to arrest Kocharian on coup charges. His defense lawyers appealed against the July 27 decision, saying that the charges are baseless and that their client enjoys legal immunity from prosecution.

One of the lawyers, Ruben Sahakian, said that the Court of Appeals based its decision to free Kocharian on Article 140 of the Armenian constitution. The article says: “During the term of his or her powers and thereafter, the President of the Republic may not be prosecuted and subjected to liability for actions deriving from his or her status.”

“We are satisfied with the court’s decision,” Sahakian told reporters outside the court building in Yerevan.

The lawyer also said that the Special Investigative Service (SIS) disagrees with the ruling and will appeal to the higher Court of Cassation. The SIS did not immediately confirm this.

Armenia - A man walks past burned cars on a street in Yerevan where security forces clashed with opposition protesters, 2 March 2008.
Armenia – A man walks past burned cars on a street in Yerevan where security forces clashed with opposition protesters, 2 March 2008.

Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General refused to order Kocharian’s release on August 8, the day before the Court of Appeals opened hearings on Kocharian’s appeal. The 63-year-old ex-president testified at the two-day hearings held behind the closed doors.

Kocharian stands accused of illegally using the armed forces against opposition protesters who demanded a rerun of a disputed presidential election held in February 2008. Eight protesters and two police personnel were killed when security forces broke up those demonstrations on March 1-2, 2018.

Kocharian denied the accusations as a politically motivated “vendetta” in televised remarks aired on July 26. His ensuing arrest was condemned by the Republican Party (HHK) of Serzh Sarkisian, who succeeded him as Armenia’s president in April 2008.

By contrast, Kocharian’s arrest was hailed as a triumph of justice by political allies of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, the main opposition candidate in the 2008 ballot.

Pashinian played a key role in Ter-Petrosian’s 2007-2008 opposition movement. During Sarkisian’s rule he spent nearly two years in prison for organizing “mass disturbances” on March 1-2, 2008. Pashinian appointed a new head of the SIS and ordered a fresh probe of the 2008 bloodshed shortly after coming to power in May this year.

Armenia - Armenian army soldiers are deployed on a street in Yerevan where security forces clashed with opposition protesters, 2 March 2008.
Armenia – Armenian army soldiers are deployed on a street in Yerevan where security forces clashed with opposition protesters, 2 March 2008.

The SIS also brought last month the same coup charges against former Defense Minister Mikael Harutiunian and former Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Khachaturov. Its case against them and Kocharian is based on a secret directive which Harutiunian issued to the Armenian military on February 23, 2008.

SIS investigators say that the still unpublicized order led to the army’s illegal involvement in post-election political processes in the country. In their words, military personnel may have been involved in the use of lethal force against protesters that barricaded themselves in the center of Yerevan.

Kocharian insisted on July 26 that army units were simply put on high alert to prevent military personnel from heeding Ter-Petrosian’s calls for the military to join his movement. Hayk Alumian, another lawyer for Kocharian, likewise said on August 6 that two deputy defense ministers were openly supporting Ter-Petrosian in February 2008. They both were sacked in April 2008.

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Armenia

Suit filed in Turkey for inheritance of Armenian brothel owner Manukyan

The Azeri Times

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Sixteen relatives filed a suit in Istanbul for the massive inheritance of brothel owner Matild Manukyan seventeen years after her death.

Armenian brothel owner Matild Manukyan,was one of the largest taxpayers in Turkey. She left a huge fortune: 486 properties, dozens of cars and millions in cash, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The estate was inherited by Kerope Cilingir, who was officially registered as his son. However, last week Sixteen relatives of Manukyan  filed a lawsuit claiming that Cilingir illegally took possession of the property.

According to the the attorneys of the plaintiffs, they found out that the state of Manukyan was mainly based on what she received from her great uncle Armenak Chah Mouradian and her grandmother Susan Chah Mouradian.

“Manukyan had no sons or daughters. My clients were her only relatives and legal heirs. But Kerope Çilingir usurped the inheritance,” the petition said.

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