Judge Armen Danielyan, presiding over the trial of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan and three other former senior officials Armen Gevorgyan, Seyran Ohanyan and Yuri Khachaturov prosecuted in connection with the March 2008 post-election events, denied the motion of the ex-president’s lawyer Hovhannes Khudoyan at a hearing on Wednesday.
Earlier during today’s hearing, Khudoyan demanded that Danielyan recuse himself from the high-profile case, citing the judge’s ‘improper’ conduct at the previous hearing.
The lawyer argued Danielyan ‘repeatedly and inappropriately’ interrupted the speeches of the defense lawyers and didn’t allow them to voice objections to his actions and make statements, thus showing an ‘arbitrary approach’ towards the rules of trial. Khudoyan also claimed the presiding judge refused to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the participants of the trial.
Earlier on 18 May, Davit Grigoryan, a Yerevan first instance court judge presiding over the ex-president’s case, suspended Kocharyan’s trial citing a “suspicion of discrepancy” between the Armenian Constitution and the charges brought against him two days after ordering his release from custody and forwarded the case to the Constitutional Court for a review.
The judge’s decisions were appealed by the Prosecutor General’s Office and representatives of the legal successors of the March 2008 victims.