Monday, July 3, in the Baku serious crimes court held another hearing on the case of blogger Alexander Lapshin, a citizen of Israel and Russia, which is accused of illegal crossing of the state border and incitement to violation of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
At the trial presided over by judge Alovsat Abbasov gave testimony of the two witnesses. Due to the absence of three other witnesses, the meeting was rescheduled for July 6, reports the Azerbaijani news Agency Trend.
The first hearing on the merits of this case took place on 30 June. The «Interfax» news Agency then reported that Lapshin did not admit his guilt and said that all his visits to Nagorno-Karabakh were purely tourist in nature. «I plead not guilty. I have made travel arrangements. More detailed information about the Karabakh conflict I received from the materials of the indictment,» said the accused, who said that Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory. «In his blog, I only shared tourist impressions, and it was not a political publication. I was in Karabakh twice and not had any contact with local officials,» said Lapshin.
The trial in the case of Lapshin was to have started on June 22. Then was presented to the court and read the indictment.
Blogger Alexander Lapshin (1976) was detained in Minsk on the night of December 15, 2016. The reason for the arrest was the request of Azerbaijani authorities, who had previously announced his international search for the violation of the law «On state border» and the migration code. As reported by Azerbaijani media, this was due to the visits of A. Lapshin in Nagorno-Karabakh. His name was included by the Baku authorities in the «black list» in 2011. However, in June 2015, as reported by Azerbaijani media, Lapshin entered Azerbaijan through Georgia on the Ukrainian passport.
The Israeli foreign Ministry and the Russian foreign Ministry tried unsuccessfully to prevent his extradition to Azerbaijan. Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova («Zionist camp») demanded that the government take more active steps aimed at the release of the Israeli citizen who served in combat units of the IDF.
7 Feb Alexander Lapshin was a special flight delivered from Minsk to Baku. The extradition was carried out shortly after the Supreme court of Belarus rejected the appeal Lapshin.