Blogger Lapshin tried in Baku court: Prosecutor demands 6.5 year sentence
At the court session in the Baku-based Court on Grave Crimes on 12 July, the prosecutor, Nasir Bayramov, demanded a 6.5-year sentence at the standard-regime penal facility for blogger Alexander Lapshin.
Alexander Lapshin has been charged for trespassing Azerbaijan’s state border (where he illegally crossed into Nagorno-Karabakh), as well as for making public calls directed against the Azerbaijani state. The Azerbaijani Criminal Code provides for a maximum sentence of 8 years in prison for the aforesaid charges.
The Prosecutor added that Lapshin should be deported from Azerbaijan upon completion of his sentence.
As Eduard Chernin, the defense lawyer, stated at a previous trial, his client’s guilt had not been proved. He petitioned the court to exclude the testimonies of all 10 witnesses of the defense from the evidence list.
“An individual standing as a witness should, directly or indirectly, witness a particular criminal act. However, they didn’t witness any act committed by Lapshin. They said they had learned about his acts through the Internet and mass media. The witnesses, who are IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) from the Shushi district, spoke about the suffering they had been through as a result of the Karabakh war. However, the war is still on-going, meaning anyone can stand as witnesses. Therefore, given that the witnesses’ testimonies are irrelevant to the charges brought against Lapshin, I would like to petition their exclusion from the evidence list,” the Caucasian Knot cited the lawyer as saying.
After the Prosecutor’s closing arguments, lawyer Chernin requested the court to be given time to prepare a defense presentation. The next trial is scheduled for 19 July.
Find more details about the case regarding the ‘daring blogger’ in the JAMnews article: