BAKU — A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced Karabakh Armenian Arsen Baghasaryan to 15 years of imprisonment after finding him guilty of a number of charges, including subversive activities against the state of Azerbaijan, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Baghdasaryan was taken prisoner by Azerbaijani forces under unclear circumstances late last year. Baku officials said he was part of an Armenian “sabotage-reconnaissance” group and was captivated after a failed attempt by the group to carry out subversive activities in the direction of Aghdam on December 26.

Military authorities in Karabakh acknowledged that Baghdasaryan was a contract serviceman but denied any raid attempted into Azerbaijani-controlled territory. The Karabakh Defense Ministry said Baghdasaryan’s service in the ranks had been suspended because of repeated disciplinary violations on his part, including regularly being absent without leave.

Two Azerbaijani nationals were tried and convicted in Stepanakert last year for carrying out subversive activities and committing other crimes, including the murder of a teenager, in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian sources believe this verdict is in retaliation for the Karabakh case.

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