Armenian sabotage group giving testimony in Baku (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 10:14)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 5

By Samir Ali - Trend:

The trial over members of the terrorist armed group consisting of Armenian citizens continues at the Baku Court on Grave Crimes, Trend reports on July 5.

The members of the group are: Rafik Karapetyan, Gurgen Goloyan, Hrayr Tadevosyan, Vagharshak Maloyan, Sasun Egiazaryan, Arsen Vardanyan, Vakhagen Bakhrikyan, Setrak Soghomonyan, Armen Dilanyan, Manuk Martonyan, Mels Anbardanyan, Andranik Mikaelyan and Felix Grigoryan.

The trial is chaired by Judge Azad Mejidov.

Felix Grigoryan partly pleaded guilty to the charges. Grigoryan said that he was summoned to the military commissariat on November 21, 2020. He was sent to Lachin on November 27 and from there to Hadrut.

“We were told that we were going to Gorus district,” Grigoryan added. “But then the route was changed. Arsen Ghazaryan told the group commanders that they would stay at the posts for 14 days. We were told that we would return home on December 13. When we descended from our posts, Azerbaijani servicemen detained us and we surrendered our weapons."

The judge stressed that there are contradictions between the testimony of the accused at the preliminary and judicial investigation.

Accused Verd Anbardanyan gave almost the same testimony. Anbardanyan stressed that he knew that Lachin is the Azerbaijani territory.

"We knew that we must transfer Lachin to Azerbaijan,” Anbardanyan added. “But we were told that before Lachin is transferred to Azerbaijan, we must create security posts there. I still know that Lachin belongs to Azerbaijan. We followed Arsen Ghazaryan's orders, he made decisions."

Another member of the group Andranik Mikaelyan said that during the war he was in the reserve battalion in Jabrayil district.

"I arrived in Jabrayil on October 2,” Mikaelyan said. “I saw that the Armenians retreat every day, suffer losses. I fled home. I was told that if I did not return, I could face up to 12 years in prison.”

“As an armistice was reached on November 10, I agreed to return knowing that the hostilities were over,” Mikaelyan said. “The military police also threatened to arrest me."

The accused also said that he did not know that the territories belonged to Azerbaijan.

A break was announced at the trial, after which other defendants will also testify.

The investigative bodies revealed that a group of Armenians, illegally acquiring weapons, components for the weapons, ammunition, explosives, and devices, created armed formations not envisaged by the law.

An armed group consisting of 13 people illegally crossed the state border of Azerbaijan on November 17, 2020, and took up the positions in the forest in the Hadrut settlement of Khojavand district.

The members of the group carried out subversive activity here, attacked individuals, organized explosions, fires, committed other terrorist acts that threaten human life and health, to disrupt public safety, create panic among the population or influence the process of making decisions by the Azerbaijani state structures or international organizations until December 13, 2020.

An announcement was made at the trial that if during the trial the guilt of the accused is proven, they can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 14 to 20 years or to life imprisonment.

The preliminary investigation of the criminal case initiated by the Main Investigation Department of the Azerbaijani State Security Service against the members of the Armenian armed formations disarmed as a result of the anti-terrorist operation of the State Security Service on December 13, 2020, and who, having illegally and secretly infiltrated to the Azerbaijani territory, committed terrorist-subversive and other criminal actions against the servicemen and civilians of Azerbaijan after the announcement of a ceasefire agreed upon by a trilateral statement signed by Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on November 10, 2020 [following the Second Karabakh War from late Sept. to early Nov.2020], has been completed.

The investigation into the criminal case against 14, and then 13 more members of the armed group has been completed and sent to the court for review along with the approved indictment.

In connection with the above-mentioned facts, 13 members of the illegal armed group were accused upon Articles 214.2.1, 214.2.3 (terrorism committed by a group of people upon prior conspiracy by an organized group or criminal association (criminal organization) by using firearms and items used as weapons), 228.3 (illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons, components for weapons, ammunition, explosives and explosive devices by an organized group), 279.2 (an attack on enterprises, institutions, organizations or individuals as part of armed formations or groups not envisaged by the law) and 318.2 (illegal crossing of the state border of Azerbaijan by a group of people upon prior conspiracy or by an organized group) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The criminal case together with the indictment approved by the deputy prosecutor general of Azerbaijan was sent for consideration to the court.

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