Speaking at a parliamentary hearing regarding the massive March 1-2, 2008 public protests in Yerevan, former Armenian Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan said that the government declared a state of emergency at the time due to increased tensions on Armenia’s border; especially with Azerbaijan.
A state of emergency was declared by Robert Kocharian, the outgoing president at the time.
Kostanyan, who wasn’t the prosecutor general in March 2008, refereed to Article 55, Point 13 of Armenia’s Constitution giving the president the power to declare martial law and the use of the armed forces “in the event of an armed attack against the Republic, an imminent danger thereof or declaration of war.”
Kostanyan said that such a threat existed in March 2008 and that Kocharian was fully justified in what he did.
“To argue that that declaring a state of emergency was somehow illegal or unconstitutional is, and I apologize for saying so, baseless,” Kostanyan said.
Kostanyan serves as Prosecutor General from 2013-2016 and now serves as a Republican Party of Armenia MP.
The parliamentary hearing was organized by the opposition Yelk Alliance.