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The ECtHR concluded in the case of former head of Armenia Kocharyan

The European court of human rights in its Advisory opinion in the case of former Armenian President Robert Kocharian reminded about the ban on retrospective application of criminal law to the detriment of the accused.

Earlier, the constitutional court of Armenia has requested an Advisory opinion from the ECtHR and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe concerning the articles of the criminal code "overthrow the constitutional order", on which the accused Kocharian. The European court said that the case concerns the interpretation of provisions of the criminal code of Armenia in the 2009 edition of the overthrow of the constitutional order in the context of article seventh of the European Convention for the protection of human rights. The article provides for punishment solely on the basis of the law. The court recalled that Kocharian was charged under article 300.1 (overthrow of the constitutional order) of the criminal code as amended by 2009 in connection with the crimes that allegedly were associated with the events of February - March 2008. At this time in power was another provision of the former criminal code, article 300 (usurpation of power).

"The court insists that article 7 (Convention ed.) unconditionally prohibits the retrospective application of criminal law to the detriment of the defendant, while the case law establishes the principle of retrospective application of more lenient criminal law", - said in the conclusion, the text of which is posted on the website of the ECHR. The decision States that national courts had to compare the legal consequences of applying either of the two articles to examine the alleged acts or omissions of the accused and other specific circumstances.

In particular, it is noted in the ECHR, the courts had to establish, subject to whether all the constituent elements of the crime and other conditions crime under the provisions of the criminal code in force at the time of the events. "Otherwise, article 300.1 of the criminal code as amended by 2009 cannot be considered to be more lenient and could not be applied. Also could not apply the new provision, if the courts establish that it would entail more serious consequences for the accused than the previous article 300," - said in the conclusion.

The special investigation service on July 26, 2018 presented to Kocharian the prosecution to overthrow the constitutional order in the criminal case about the protesters on 1 March 2008. Kocharyan thinks the charges are trumped up as political persecution.