Azerbaijan sentences Russian blogger to 3 years in prison

July 20, 2017 - 4:21 am

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced a Russian blogger to three years in prison for illegally crossing the border after he made a trip to a separatist-controlled region of the country.

Alexander Lapshin was detained by police in Belarus last year and extradited to Azerbaijan where he was slapped with charges from his trip to Nagorno-Karabakh via Armenia several years ago.

Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan. Since a separatist war ended in 1994, it has been under the control of forces that claim to be local ethnic Armenians but that Azerbaijan claims include Armenian troops.

Lapshin's lawyer Eduard Chernin told reporters after the ruling on Thursday his client will appeal the verdict and hopes for extradition to one of his home countries. He also holds Ukrainian and Israeli citizenship.

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