TODAY.AZ / Politics

Two Armenians stand trial in Baku on terror charges

11 January 2022 [13:16] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vugar Khalilov

Two Armenian citizens have stood trial in a Baku court on terrorism charges, Trend reported on January 10.

At the trial, presided over by Ganja Grave Crimes Court judge Elmin Rustamov, the prosecutor announced the indictment on the criminal case of terror suspects Ashot Sargsyan and Vladimir Rafaelyan, the report added.

According to the criminal case materials, on May 27, 2021, at about 03:00 am, the commander of the Armenian Defence Ministry's special operations intelligence group, Ashot Sargsyan, and military engineer Rafaelyan Vladimir Rafaelyan illegally crossed the Azerbaijani state border in Kalbajar region, where the Azerbaijani military units were stationed.

The suspects were detained while mining the roads passing through Yukhari Ayrim village.  Some 23 "TM 62-m" and "E-00-M" mine types were seized from them, the report added.

Some local media outlets reported that Sargsyan stated in his testimony that on May 24, 2021, he was ordered to blast the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan major oil pipeline.

“We were soldiers of special forces 022. The next day, an order came to conduct reconnaissance of the area, block roads, mine, and lay barbed wire. We were ordered to picture the area, where the mines were buried. We were also ordered to blow up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Then Azerbaijani soldiers came and opened a warning fire," he was quoted as saying.

Earlier, both Armenian citizens were charged with terrorism, illegal border crossing, committing an act of sabotage and unlawful firearm shipment. At the court session, witnesses were cross-examined.

The trial will continue on January 24.

As a result of the trilateral meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which took place on December 14, 2021, in Brussels at the initiative of EU Council President Charles Michel, as well as a bilateral meeting between Aliyev and Michel, through the EU mediation Azerbaijan handed over to Armenia 10 Armenian servicemen on December 19.

The transferred persons were detained on November 16, 2021, while preventing a provocation by the Armenian armed forces near Kalbajar region on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border.

Earlier, Prime Minister Ali Asadov said that Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanged 122 servicemen and detainees with the participation of Russian peacekeepers from December 2020.

Asadov underlined that Azerbaijan fully complies with the paragraphs of the trilateral ceasefire deal signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan in November 2020, which also envisaged the transfer of detained servicemen.

"With the participation of Russian peacekeepers, a total of 122 servicemen and detainees have been returned since December 22, 2020. Of these, 105 returned to Armenia and 17 to Azerbaijan," the prime minister said.

Referring to the 62 Armenian servicemen who were detained on the Azerbaijani territory after the signing of a trilateral statement, Asadov stressed that "according to all international laws they are not considered prisoners of war”.

"They were detained after the war, entered our territory with a subversive purpose, and the status as prisoners of war does not apply to them. However, Azerbaijan returned 29 of them to the Armenian side. Thirty-three of this group were convicted by our courts and will be held responsible," he added.


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