YEREVAN, September 18. /ARKA/. Armenia’s ex-defense minister Seyran Ohanyan, who is a defendant in a criminal case involving the 2008, March 1-2 post-election violence in Yerevan, denied the charges brought against him.
The case dates back to late February and early March 2008 following the disputed presidential election, when then prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was declared the winner, angering the opposition, led by the first Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosyan who set off 10 days of nonstop protests that led to a crackdown on March 1, in which 10 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
In 2008 spring Seyran Ohanyan served as chief of staff of the armed forces. The main defendant in the case is ex-president Robert Kocharyan, accused of trying to overthrow the constitutional order. Other defendants are Armen Gevorkyan, former chief of Kocharyan’s staff, Yuri Khachaturov, who had been the chief of the Yerevan garrison at the time of the bloody events. Khachaturov was detained by then released on a 5 million dram bail.
“I do not accept the charges. In 2008 I was a military man. The reality is what is presented in my testimony and what was revealed during the investigation. I do not want to comment on anything else,” said Ohanyan.
Ohanyan denied the charges of trying to overthrow the constitutional order and declined to comment on the information that armed forces were brought to Armenian in 2008 from Nagorno-Karabakh to crackdown on opposition, stressing that all this will be presented during the trial.