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Nagorno-Karabakh Court Rejects Jailed Azerbaijanis' Appeal

  • RFE/RL's Armenian Service

A de-facto court of appeals in self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh region rejected on March 10 the appeals by two Azerbaijani men jailed in December on charges of murder, espionage, illegal border crossing, and illegal weapons possession.

Azerbaijan does not recognize the legality of the trial in which its citizens, Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Quliyev, were sentenced to life and 22 years in prison, respectively.

The self-proclaimed government of Nagorno-Karabakh says Askerov, 54, and Quliyev, 46, were members of an Azerbaijani saboteur group, which crossed into the breakaway region on July 12 and killed a military officer.

Azerbaijani authorities and the two men deny any connection with Azerbaijani military.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijani officials said on March 10 the case of an Armenian national, Arsen Baghdasarian, accused of being a saboteur, has been sent to the court in Baku.

Azerbaijani authorities claim Baghdasarian was a member of an Armenian saboteur group and was taken prisoner after a failed attempt by the group to carry out subversive activities in December.

Nagorno-Karabakh authorities deny the claim.