The extradition of blogger Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan shows the political will and ability of Azerbaijan to take the boldest steps to defend its national interests, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov told reporters on Wednesday, APA reported.
“Lapshin’s extradition is one of those numerous facts proving that Azerbaijan is able to defend its national interests,” Ahmadov said.
The deputy PM noted that Azerbaijan has always demonstrated its unequivocal position with regard to those who stand against the country’s independence and national interests, violate national laws and the norms of international law.
“Thanks to this position, we can ensure that each person who commits a crime will be brought to justice. The Azerbaijani state is able to demonstrate strong political will,” Ahmadov added.
Blogger Lapshin was extradited to Azerbaijan from Belarus on Feb. 7.
Earlier, the Supreme Court of Belarus rejected the complaint filed by Lapshin’s lawyer regarding his extradition to Azerbaijan.
On Jan. 26, Alexei Stuk, deputy prosecutor general of Belarus, issued a ruling on Lapshin’s extradition to Azerbaijan. The Minsk City Court upheld this decision.
Lapshin, who holds Russian, Israeli, and Ukrainian citizenship, paid illegal visits to the occupied Azerbaijani territories in April 2011 and in October 2012, violating Azerbaijan’s laws on the state border and passports. He made statements against Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a criminal case against him on articles 281.2 (public calls directed against the state) and 318.2 (illegal crossing border of the Azerbaijan Republic), and issued an international arrest warrant for him.