Azerbaijan’s request for Lapshin’s extradition was legal: Russian envoy

Mon 13 February 2017 15:15 GMT | 19:15 Local Time

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Azerbaijan’s request for the extradition of Alexander Lapshin was legal, said Russian ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov, APA reported citing TASS.

“If you have done something forbidden in any country, it is not necessary to advertise it to the whole world,” said the ambassador, noting that blogger Lapshin, who is a citizen of Russia and Israel, has taken this step, knowing that those who visit Nagorno-Karabakh are barred from entering Azerbaijan.  

“He was allowed to enter Baku on the eve of Formula 1 race. After leaving the country, he began to boast in social networks, sharing anti-Azerbaijani posts. Then he visited his relatives in Belarus. Here he was arrested at the request of Azerbaijan,” Surikov said.

The Russian diplomat said the Azerbaijan side’s request was legally justified.  

“From judicial point of view, everything is all right, because CIS countries have an agreement on handing over persons criminally liable, on the basis of which, the Azerbaijani side made the request,” Surikov said. “Our consulate department, along with the Israelis, has tried to hand over Lapshin to either Russia or Israel. He could have been extradited to Russia on the basis of that agreement. But we don’t have a criminal case concerning him. Otherwise, he would have been extradited to Russia, not Azerbaijan.”

The ambassador went on to say that consulate department officials visited Lapshin when he was detained in Belarus and met his attorneys as well as relatives. “But it was not possible to prevent his extradition,” Surikov said. 

Lapshin, a citizen of several countries, including Israel, is accused of violating Azerbaijani laws on state border in April 2011 and October 2012.

On Jan. 17, Alexei Stuk, deputy prosecutor general of Belarus, issued a ruling on Lapshin’s extradition to Azerbaijan. Lapshin was brought to Azerbaijan on Feb. 7.

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