Appeal filed against court decision in Meshali massacre perpetrator Khachaturyan’s case

    SOCIETY  27 November 2023 - 16:52

    Lawyer Radmila Abilova has said that an appeal has been filed against the court's decision in the criminal case of Vagif Khachaturyan, accused of participating in the genocide in Meshali village of Azerbaijan’s Khojaly district as a member of illegal Armenian armed detachments.

    In response to Report's question, Abilova noted that an appeal to quash the conviction against Khachaturyan was lodged with the Baku Court of Appeal: "I met with Khachaturyan on November 24. He has no health problems. I explained to him all his rights".

    Vagif Khachaturyan was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Baku Military Court. He must spend the first five years of his sentence in prison and the rest in a strict-regime penal colony.

    Khachaturyan is accused of participating in the massacre of Azerbaijanis in Meshali village of Khojaly district on 22 December 1991 as a member of Armenian military units.

    Armenian citizen Vagif Cherkezovich Khachaturyan, on the international wanted list due to the genocide in Meshali, was detained in July this year at the Lachin border checkpoint.

    The criminal group which he led killed 25 Azerbaijanis in the village of Meshali in the Khojaly district in December 1991, wounded 14 people and evicted 358 Azerbaijanis from their legal place of residence.

    A criminal case was opened against him under articles 103 (genocide) and 107 (deportation or forced resettlement of the population), and a preventive measure in the form of remand in custody was chosen.

    Article 103 ("Genocide - actions aimed at the complete or partial destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing members of this group, causing serious harm to their health or serious harm to their mental abilities, creating living conditions designed for the complete or partial physical destruction of members of this group, carrying out activities aimed at prevention of births within a group, forced transfer of children belonging to one group to another") - provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 14 to 20 years or life imprisonment.

    Article 107 ("Deportation or forced relocation of the population, the expulsion of the population from legal places of settlement to another State or expulsion by other coercive actions, without grounds established by the norms of international law and the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan") provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 10 to 15 years.

    Both articles belong to the category of grave and especially grave crimes. Thus, according to the totality of the articles, Vagif Khachaturyan can expect a sentence of 20 years in prison or life imprisonment.


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