The trial of two Azeri saboteurs under way in Stepanakert

Lusine Avanesyan
Public Radio of Armenia

The trial of two Azerbaijani saboteurs Dilham Aliyev and Shahbaz Guliyev began  in Stepanakert today.

The two are accused of illegally crossing the NKR border, illegally carrying weapons, kidnapping, killing a juvenile and attempting a murder on the national basis.

The trial began at the First Instance Court of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic this morning.

Strong security measures were taken, considering the importance of the case. However, everything went calm inside and outside the court building. The only difference from other court hearings was the presence of a great number of journalists and several human rights defenders.

What’s interesting, however, is that international structured did not show much interest in the case. Larisa Alaverdyan, Executive Director of the Foundation Against the Violation of Law (FAVL), said she did not expect international interference in the case.

“If not the case of Ramil Safarov, that simply disgraced Azerbaijan, they could possibly persuade some international organization to interfere. They have applied to different countries and international NGOs in five languages, but no response has followed. This silence is even more speaking,” Larisa Alaverdyan told reporters.

The trial proceeds in line with the NKR laws, the defendants have lawyers in the face of Erik Beglaryan and Arkady Israyelyan, both members of the NKR Chamber of Advocates. An interpreter is also available for them during the trial.

“The only shortcoming is that no observers from international human rights organizations have been invited. The organization of this trial is a step forward in the process of international recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,” she said.

The aggrieved party in the trial is represented by Mekhak Tsakanyan, the father of the killed teenager, and Vrezh Balayan, who sustained material loss as a result of the actions of the Azeri saboteurs.

The defendants admit their guilt only partially. Shahbaz Guliyev pleads not guilty in the death of Smbat Tsakanyan, but does not refute the boy was killed by their group.

The trial continues.

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