Aliyev needs testimony of Artsakh officials for trials against Armenia
October 06 2023, 10:24
We are currently witnessing “free fall” of the Armenian statehood. One of the most striking examples of this process is the criminal trials of the former officials of the Republic of Artsakh, which are taking place in Azerbaijan.
On October 5, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Security Service of Azerbaijan reported that the 4th President of the Republic of Artsakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, was threatened with life imprisonment. Tragically, in Armenia discussions of the arrest of Artsakh former officials are mainly limited to the moral side of the issue – some say that Arayik Harutyunyan deserves such punishment for pursuing Nikol Pashinyan’s policy in Artsakh since 2018, others say that “despite all this, it is difficult to look at Harutyunyan arrested by the special services of Azerbaijan.” However, the political aspect of what happened is virtually never discussed.
Azerbaijan needs show trials against the former officials of the Republic of Artsakh, first of all, in order to force them to give testimony about official Yerevan’s political will and full support for the formation of the Artsakh statehood, about Armenia’s part in all the processes taking place in Artsakh – from the formation of state bodies to the formation of the Defense Army. Aliyev’s regime needs evidence of Armenia’s direct involvement in ensuring the combat capability of the Artsakh Defense Forces, which in the future will be presented as “Armenia’s sponsorship of terrorism and war crimes on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan.”
This, in turn, will create a legal basis for filing lawsuits against Armenia to the International Criminal Court – lawsuits concerning both the payment of “compensation and reparations” and claims for the extradition of certain political or military figures who will be recognized as involved in the creation of the Republic of Artsakh. By the way, it was one of the reasons why Pashinyan’s parliamentary faction so promptly ratified the Rome Statute.
The Azerbaijani media do not even hide that the process will follow this scenario. Moreover, it is openly stated that “if Armenia is not able to pay reparations, Azerbaijan will have the legitimate right to ‘compensate for its losses’ by seizing the territories of Armenia.”
To accomplish its intentions, Azerbaijan needs the entire security system of Armenia to be destroyed, and Yerevan’s relations with Moscow and Tehran to worsen. If we look at the situation from this point of view, it becomes clear what the purpose of Armenia’s outright sabotage of relations with Russian and the constant refusal of any assistance offered by official Tehran, which just the other day offered Armenia to send its observers to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Azerbaijan’s goal is obvious – make the Armenian leadership sign a document similar to the one signed by the fifth President of the Republic of Artsakh Samvel Shahramanyan on September 28, which marked the dissolution of the Artsakh statehood. The arrest of senior officials of the Republic of Artsakh is only one of the elements in the implementation of this program.
The processes have long gone beyond just moral and ethical problems. Armenia’s problems are political in nature, and the solution to these problems should be political.
All those political figures in Armenia who have the opportunity to prevent the dissolution of Armenian statehood should closely follow the trial of Arayik Harutyunyan and others. They should know that Azerbaijan, inspired by the inaction and tacit support of the Armenian authorities, has already prepared places for all of them in the Azerbaijani dock.