Armenian court orders arrest of ex-president Kocharyan: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) – An Armenian court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of former president Robert Kocharyan, who was freed on bail from pre-trial detention last month, the RIA news agency reported.

Kocharyan, who was president from 1998 to 2008, has been charged with acting unlawfully by introducing a state of emergency in March 2008, following a disputed election. At least ten people were killed in clashes between police and protesters.

He has already been arrested and released twice since last July after peaceful protests drove his former ally and successor, Serzh Sarksyan, from power and propelled opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan into the prime minister’s job.

Kocharyan’s lawyer said that the defense would appeal the decision to have the 64-year-old returned to jail.

Kocharyan told Reuters in May that powerful opposition forces were coming together to challenge the country’s new leadership soon, and that he hoped to be among them.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Margarita Antidze; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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