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June 30, 2017  17:53

Alexander Lapshin pleads not guilty in Baku trial

Blogger Alexander Lapshin pleaded not guilty on charges of public statements directed against the state and illegal crossing of Azerbaijani border.

STEPANAKERT, JUNE 30, ARTSAKHPRESS: “I do not plead guilty. I made tourist trips. I received more detailed information about the Karabakh conflict from the materials of the indictment. In my blog, I shared only tourist impressions, and these were not political publications. I was in Karabakh twice and had no contacts with local officials,” the blogger said during the trial.

The trial will continue on July 3.

 After his visits to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in 2011 and 2012, blogger and journalist Alexander Lapshin—who is a citizen of Russia, Israel, and several other countries—was “blacklisted” by Azerbaijan.

In June 2016, however, he paid a visit to Azerbaijan--but with a Ukrainian passport--and, subsequently, he published several articles criticizing the Azerbaijani authorities.

Afterward, Azerbaijan issued an international search for this famous blogger. On December 15, 2016, Lapshin was detained in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk, and based on this search.

On January 26 of the current year, the Minsk city court dismissed the blogger's appeal of the Belarusian General Prosecutor's Office decision to extradite him to Azerbaijan.

On February 7, the Supreme Court of Belarus dismissed the appeals that were filed into this case, and upheld the aforesaid decision by the General Prosecutor’s Office.

And on the evening of the same day, Belarus extradited Alexander Lapshin to the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku, where he was taken into custody.

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