Azerbaijani authorities have formally charged a prominent journalist with high treason over allegations he spied for Azerbaijan’s rival, Armenia.
The Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement April 21 that Rauf Mirqadirov "was recruited by the Armenian secret services in 2008 and supplied Yerevan with information on Azerbaijan's state secrets.”
Mirqadirov has been ordered to stay in pretrial custody for the next three months as investigators pursue the case.
The Prosecutor-General's Office said Mirqadirov is accused of meeting with Armenian agents several times in Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey and providing them with images and documents that damaged Azerbaijan’s security and defense capabilities.
Mirqadirov is a correspondent for the Russian-language newspaper "Zerkalo," which is published in Azerbaijan.
He was detained in Baku after he was deported from Turkey on April 19.
Azerbaijan and Armenia remain locked in hostilities over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani territory that was seized by Armenian-backed separatists during a war in the early 1990s.
Rights groups consider Azerbaijan’s government to be among the most repressive of journalists in the world.
Based on reporting by AFP, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax