Former Deputy Defense Minister Charged with Usurping State Power During March-1-2, 2008 Yerevan Protests
Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) has charged Yuri Khachaturov with “usurping state power” during the March 1-2, 2008 public protests in Yerevan that claimed the lives of ten people.
Khachaturov was Armenia's Deputy Minister of Defense at the time of widespread demonstrations in the Armenian capital following the February 2008 presidential election that resulted in Serzh Sargsyan replacing the outgoing Robert Kocharyan.
The SIS states that Khachaturov colluded with others to violate Article 300 of the Criminal Code: Usurping state power, i.e. seizure of state power, in violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, or keeping it with violence, as well as, actions aimed at the overthrowing of constitutional order of the Republic of Armenia, or the violent breach of territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said his government must reveal the truth about the March 1 events and prosecute those responsible.
A Yerevan cout must now decide whether to hold Khachaturov in pre-trial detention or release him on bail.
He faces 10-15 years imprisonment if found guilty.