Armenian PM calls for independent judiciary after Kocharian verdict

Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan has called for his country’s judiciary system to remain independent and respect the rule of law.

Speaking at a press conference on May 20, Mr Pashinyan said that all judges should be subject to a proper vetting system and called on those judiciary members who cannot be impartial to resign.

“If this will require constitutional changes, we must also take that action,” the PM said, adding that Armenia is cooperating with leading European and international organisations to achieve this goal.

Mr Pashinyan’s statement comes two days after a court in Yerevan ordered the release of former Armenian president Robert Kocharian, who had been charged with illegally using force against opposition demonstrators during the 2008 protests that ended his presidency.

On May 19, Mr Pashinyan called on his supporters to practice civil disobedience by blocking courthouses across the country. A day later, he asked his supporters to stop these actions, saying that the campaign has served its goal.