No: 24/17, Press release on the case of Alexander Lapshin
The attempts to politicize the criminal case filed against Alexander Lapshin in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as his extradition to Azerbaijan, who holds the citizenship of several countries, are not correct. This issue is of complete legal nature and must be reviewed from the legal standpoint.
A.Lapshin, despite the warnings from the Foreign Ministries of the countries whose citizenship he holds, without permission of Azerbaijani authorities illegally visited the territories of Azerbaijan occupied by the armed forces of Armenia and made calls aimed at violation of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territorial integrity. A.Lapshin, knowing about the inclusion of his name into the list of undesirable persons, re-entered Azerbaijan’s territory with another passport in June of 2016. He openly stated that he has committed these acts in a deliberate and provocative manner.
Due to the fact that A.Lapshin’s actions hold elements of open calls against the state and illegal border crossing, Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan filed a suit under the articles of 281.2 (appeals against the state) and 318.2 (illegal border crossing) and put him on the international wanted list.
Law-enforcement agencies of Belarus detained A.Lapshin on December 14, 2016. He was extradited to Azerbaijan on February 7, 2016 and placed at the Baku Detention Facility of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice. His case is being reviewed within the laws of Azerbaijan.
Lapshin’s case once again indicates that Armenia fraudulently attracts foreign nationals to the illegal visits to Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and then tries to turn them into a tool of its political propaganda.
Foreign Ministry once again calls upon foreign citizens to refrain from illegal visits to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as well as other countries to warn their nationals about legal consequences of such trips.