Extradition of Alexander Lapshin. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot.

22 June 2017, 16:37

In Baku, Court begins considering Alexander Lapshin's case

Today, the Baku Court for Grave Crimes has held a preparatory hearing on the case against blogger Alexander Lapshin.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in December 2016, Alexander Lapshin was detained in Belarus at the request of Azerbaijan. On February 7, Alexander Lapshin was extradited from Belarus to Azerbaijan and placed to a SIZO (pre-trial prison). On March 7, the Nasimi District Court of Baku pronounced the decision to extend the detention of the blogger until July 15.

Alexander Lapshin, a citizen of Russia, Ukraine and Israel, is accused by Azerbaijan of visiting the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), which is treated by Azerbaijan, as its occupied territory, and of public statements in support of the NKR’s independence. He faces up to eight years in prison.

The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was informed by advocate Eduard Chernin that at today's hearing, the Court was to decide whether to accept the case for consideration or not. "That was a procedural action, and all issues were resolved within the law," said the advocate.

According to him, Alexander Lapshin did not make any statements and did not object to the transfer of his case to the consideration at the court.

Eduard Chernin has noted that he did not request to change the pre-trial restriction measure for his client. "Let's argue with sense: he does not have a place of residence in Azerbaijan, he has no place to stay at," explained the advocate.

He has reported that Alexander Lapshin does not complain about the conditions of his detention. When asked if he believes in the fair trial at the court, Eduard Chernin answered: "Why not? So far there is no reason to doubt that."

According to the advocate, the blogger admits that he has made a trip to Nagorno-Karabakh, but he explains that by his desire to learn in person about the situation in the conflict zone. "Alexander Lapshin visited more than 126 countries and regions of the world. He travelled to Transnistria, Abkhazia, and Syria... He says that he made those trips with a view to get personally acquainted with the situation in the conflict regions and to see how people lived in such places. He visited Nagorno-Karabakh with the same purpose, and he had nothing bad in mind against Azerbaijan. He respects the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," noted Eduard Chernin.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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