Charges brought against Armenia top court chief

Charges brought against Armenia top court chief

PanARMENIAN.Net - Charges have been brought against the President of the Constitutional Court of Armenia Hrayr Tovmasyan for abuse of power which caused grave consequences.

Marina Ohanjanyan, spokeswoman for the Investigative Service, confirmed the news to PanARMENIAN.Net without providing more details though.

Under the Criminal Code of Armenia, the charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of six years in prison, as well as deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or engage in certain activities for up to three years.

Tovmasyan, who was appointed in the position in February 2018, has been accused by members of the ruling My Step party of having a conflict of interest in the trial of ex-President Robert Kocharyan because of his history and ties with the country’s pre-revolutionary authorities.

The National Assembly voted to strip Tovmasyan of his judicial powers on October 4, but the Constitutional Court rejected the motion, since it “does not comply with the rules”.

On October 17, the Special Investigation Service (SIS) launched a criminal investigation against Tovmasyan, two days after the Constitutional Court rejected the parliament’s appeal.

The probe is based on lawmaker Arman Babajanyan’s lawsuit, which claims that Tovmasyan colluded with officials from the former ruling Republican Party to become chairman of the Constitutional Court.

Tovmasyan himself claims that the aim of stripping him of his judicial powers was to stop the Constitutional Court from exercising its oversight role in ensuring that any political decisions made by Prime Minister Nikol Pahshinyan and his My Step bloc would be in line with the constitution.

He has said he is not going to leave his post willingly.

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