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Retired Armenian Officer Arrested On Spy Charges

Armenian authorities have detained a retired military officer on charges of spying for Azerbaijan.

The Armenian National Security Service said on December 9 that retired Major Garik Marutian, 38, is suspected of passing classified information to Azerbaijani secret service agents during his tenure as an intelligence officer in Armenia's armed forces.

Marutian faces a charge of high treason and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a dispute since the 1990s over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenian-backed separatists seized the mainly ethnic Armenian-populated region during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

International diplomatic efforts to reach a settlement about the frozen conflict have brought little progress.

Based on reporting by and Interfax