By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The judicial system of Armenia fails to enjoy even the minimal confidence of the Armenian society. The international organizations have already noticed the deplorable state of the courts of this country.
Politically interested parties should refrain from actions and statements that may be perceived as putting pressure on the judicial system, Yulia Lovochkina (Ukraine) and Andrei Shirtsel (Slovenia), the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on monitoring Armenia, said after the statement of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Earlier, Pashinyan called on citizens to block the entrances and exits of the courts on May 19. This appeal followed the judge decision to release the former President Robert Kocharian from custody.
PACE stressed that the independence of the judiciary is a prerequisite for the rule of law, and therefore the rule of law is best ensured by the absence of any interference from political actors.
"There are clear legal procedures, such as an appeal to a higher court, to challenge a court decision that seems questionable. Compliance with the rule of law requires adherence to procedures that exist to protect all citizens, no matter who they are," said the message.
The co-rapporteurs mentioned that the public reaction to this court decision emphasizes the still low level of public confidence in the Armenian judicial system.
Meanwhile, the story of the blocking of ships in Armenia is over. Pashinyan announced the need for "surgical intervention" in the judicial system. Some Armenian experts consider this a signal for mass cleansing in the system. The reason was the decision to release the ex-president Robert Kocharyan from the arrest on May 18.
Alexander Azaryan, judge of the Armenian Court of Appeal, said he will resign only after resignation of Armenian premier or when he turns 65. It is remarkable that Azaryan's name appears in Pashinyan’s “blacklist”. Under the chairmanship of this judge, the Court of Appeal freed Robert Kocharyan from arrest in August 2018, motivating it with the ex-president’s inviolability.
Problems will also arise with Kocharyan’s lawyers. The action, designed to demonstrate people’s support for Pashinyan, only increased the already considerable number of questions to him, both domestically and from abroad.
Karen Bekaryan, Chairman of the public organization "European Integration", pointed out that Pashinyan leads the country to total dictatorship, declaring war on the judicial system, adding that all the abstract and at first sight pleasing to the ear wording is just a screen, a tool for packaging.
For now it is rather difficult to talk about the national support of Pashinyan. Only about 1,100 people responded to the call of the Armenian PM, which is a drop in the ocean against the background of Yerevan with a population of over a million people.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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