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Jailed Former Armenian President Kocharian Undergoes Surgery

Former President Robert Kocharian is brought to a courtroom in Yerevan on May 8.

YEREVAN -- Armenian ex-President Robert Kocharian, who is currently in pretrial detention, has undergone surgery for the second time in seven months.

Kocharian's office did not reveal what medical condition the ex-president had, but said he was now in a "satisfactory" state.

Kocharian underwent surgery at Yerevan’s Izmirlian Medical Center in October 2019 and was taken to the private hospital again in late April for what one of his lawyers described as a "postoperative checkup."

Earlier this spring, Kocharian spent more than three weeks in another hospital after suffering from fluctuating blood pressure.

Kocharian, who ruled Armenia from 1998 to 2008, is currently on trial on charges stemming from his alleged role in a 2008 postelection crackdown on the opposition, as well as for taking bribes. He rejects the charges as politically motivated.

A Yerevan court resumed the high-profile trial on May 8, with Kocharian’s lawyers reiterating their demand to release their client from pretrial custody on health grounds. They argued the 65-year-old is at high risk from coronavirus given his age and health problems.

The presiding judge, Anna Danibekian, is set to respond to the petition on May 13.

Kocharian is standing trial along with three other former officials.