YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — The Azerbaijani authorities have issued international arrest warrants for Armenia’s former Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan.
An Azerbaijani military prosecutor said on Monday, February 21, that the two men born in Nagorno-Karabakh have been indicted for helping to launch in 1988 demonstrations for the Armenian-populated territory’s secession from Azerbaijan and unification with Armenia. He said they are also wanted for their role in the 1991 creation of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Kocharyan and Sargsyan, who led Karabakh during its 1991-1994 war with Azerbaijan, were quick to scoff at the accusations.
“The filing of accusations against Serzh Sargsyan by the Aliyev regime is in itself a caricature,” his office said in a statement.
It said that Sargsyan, who ruled Armenia from 2008-2018, will continue to use his “extensive connections and experience” to fight for the Karabakh Armenians’ “right to a free, independent and secure life.”
The statement also stressed that Sargsyan and Kocharyan, who now lead Armenia’s two main opposition groups, are also prosecuted by the “capitulator authorities” in Yerevan which it claimed are now effectively allied to “Azerbaijan’s ruling clan.”