Court orders former Armenian president released from jail

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 19, 2007 file photo Armenian President Robert Kocharian arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris. The lawyer for former Armenian President Robert Kocharian says he has been released from custody on a court order. Kocharian was jailed July 27 on charges of violating constitutional order for sending police and soldiers to break up a demonstration in the Armenian capital in March 2008. Eight demonstrators and two police died in the clash.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

YEREVAN, Armenia — The lawyer for former Armenian President Robert Kocharian says he has been released from custody on a court order.

Kocharian was jailed July 27 on charges of violating constitutional order for sending police and soldiers to break up a demonstration in the Armenian capital in March 2008. Eight demonstrators and two police died in the clash.

The demonstration was to protest the results of an election two weeks earlier for Kocharian's replacement.

Kocharian's lawyer, Ruben Saakyan, told journalists Monday that the appeals court in Yerevan had released Kocharian on the grounds of constitutional immunity for actions as president.

Kocharian's supporters claimed the case was politically motivated. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian is a foe of Serzh Sargsyan, who won the 2008 election and was backed by Kocharian.

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