Former Armenian president Sargsyan questioned in 2008 probe

Tue 05 Feb 2019 12:55 GMT | 16:55 Local Time

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Armenia’s former president Serzh Sargsyan has reportedly been questioned by Armenian-law-enforcement authorities as a witness in the ongoing investigation into the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan, according to the local newspaper Asbarez.

Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS), which is conducting the probe, did not deny or confirm the reports on Monday.

The SIS has charged Sargsyan’s predecessor Robert Kocharyan and three retired army generals with overthrowing the constitutional order in the wake of a disputed presidential election held in February 2008. The vote formalized the handover of power from Kocharyan to Sargsyan, his preferred successor.

The main opposition presidential candidate, Levon Ter-Petrosian, rejected the official election results as fraudulent, staging nonstop demonstrations that were broken up on March 1-2, 2008. Eight protesters and two policemen were killed in vicious streets clashes in Yerevan on that night.

The SIS blamed the Ter-Petrosian-led opposition for the bloodshed until last spring’s “velvet revolution” which brought Pashinyan to power. But it now says that Kocharyan illegally used army units against the protesters in order to enforce the vote results.

Kocharyan, who denies the accusations as politically motivated, was again arrested in December. Sargsyan’s Republican Party of Armenian strongly condemned the arrest, saying that Pashinyan is exacting “personal revenge” against the man who ruled the county from 1998-2008.

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