By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan has sentenced to 20 years in prison a Lebanese citizen of Armenian origin earlier arrested on terror-related charges, Trend reported on June 14.
Baku's Yasamal district court issued the verdict on Viken Eulcekcian (Eulcekjian), who had earlier been remanded in custody on charges of fighting in the 44-day Karabakh war as a mercenary, illegally crossing the country's state border and being involved in terrorist activities against Azerbaijan.
Under the verdict, the defendant will serve five years in prison and the remaining term in a maximum-security correctional facility.
The investigation established that on September 29, 2020, Lebanese citizen and Beirut resident Eulcekcian initially accepted the offer to take part in military operations as a mercenary in the de-occupied territories of Azerbaijan in exchange for $2,500.
For this purpose, on the same day, in an organized group, he deliberately crossed the protected state border of Azerbaijan from the territory of Armenia outside the checkpoints and arrived in the territories where other mercenaries were stationed.
Eulcekcian and other mercenaries also took part in terrorist activities against the Azerbaijani citizens and the army, using firearms, ammunition and spare parts illegally obtained as a result of the persecution of armed groups, not provided for by Azerbaijan's legislation.
Under the court ruling, Eulcekcian faced charges under Criminal Code Articles 114.3 (participation of a mercenary in a military conflict or military operation), 214.2.1 (terrorism by a group of persons, organized group, or criminal organization), 318.2 (illegal crossing of the state border of Azerbaijan).
Earlier, senior Azerbaijani officials repeatedly stated that Armenia used the people from Lebanon and Syria as mercenaries during the six-week war in autumn 2020.
The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan resumed after Armenia launched large-scale attacks on Azerbaijani forces and civilians on September 27.
The trilateral peace deal signed by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on November 10, 2020, ended the 30-year-old conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region that along with the seven adjacent regions came under the occupation of Armenian armed forces in the war in the 1990s.
On January 11, 2021, the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders signed the second statement since the end of the 44-day war. The newly-signed statement is set to implement clause 9 of the November 2020 statement related to the unblocking of all economic and transport communications in the region.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz