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Jailed Armenian Ex-President Kocharian Transferred To House Arrest


Then-President Serzh Sarkisian (left) and his predecessor, Robert Kocharian, visit Gyumri in December 2008.

YEREVAN -- Jailed former Armenian President Robert Kocharian, who is charged in connection with the deadly crackdown on opposition protesters following the disputed presidential election in 2008, has been transferred from a detention facility to house arrest.

An appeals court in Yerevan ruled on August 13 to transfer Kocharian from a pretrial detention center to house arrest, an RFE/RL correspondent reported.

Kocharian was arrested in July after he was charged with involvement in the crackdown in which 10 people, including two police officers, were killed. Kocharian has dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

Kocharian's arrest comes as the government of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has stepped up legal action against officials linked to the previous government.

The case dates back to late February and early March 2008 in the wake of a disputed election to determine Kocharian's successor.

Kocharian's ally, Serzh Sarkisian, was declared the winner, angering the opposition and setting off 10 days of nonstop protests that led to the deadly crackdown.

Kocharian is accused of illegally ordering the violent dispersal of protesters.

Pashinian's administration has also brought cases against several other former officials and close relatives of Sarkisian's family for a variety of alleged financial crimes.

Pashinian, an anticorruption campaigner, was elected prime minister in May, after weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism.

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