Armenia’s Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan on Friday said that based on objective evidence that proves that Azerbaijani military and political leaders committed gross violations of international laws during the 2020 War, it has initiated criminal cases against 60 Azerbaijani leaders that it has identified to have been complicit in those acts.
Davtyan made the announcement while presenting his office’s 2021 report to the parliamentary committee on state and legal affairs.
“In concrete cases they [Azerbaijanis] targeted civilian settlements and civilians, murdered civilians, violated the rules of war, deployed banned munitions, targeted and destroyed Armenian historical-cultural values and fueled by ethnic hatred committed violence, torture and killings, all in a premeditated manner,” Davtyan said, describing the actions of the Azerbaijani troops.
He also highlighted the acts of terror committed during the 44-day war.
“The objective evidence gathered under the criminal cases clearly prove that as early as June-July 2020, known terror groups started recruiting mercenaries from northern Syria. The recruited mercenaries were transferred into Turkey through the Turkey-Syria state border, without impediments, control or check, and were then transferred by plane to Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijan, they underwent military training. The Syrian mercenaries detained by us have testified that they underwent special training for combat in mountainous terrains. They were ordered to target, kill and torture civilians in settlements,” Davtyan explained.
Davtyan also reported on a controversial effort by his office to prosecute Armenian soldiers and citizens alleged to have committed criminal acts during and following the 2020 war.
He said investigations by his office into criminal cases related to the 44-day war revealed that “numerous” military servicemembers and high-ranking officers failed to fulfill their duty properly.
“From the onset, we adopted the following two directions: subject for investigation under the criminal cases related to the 44-day war are the war crimes committed by Azerbaijan’s military-political leadership, as well as the alleged criminal violations committed by our military-political leadership and the armed forces during war,” Davtyan explained, adding that his office has investigated 2,150 domestic criminal cases related to war in 2021.
“As of the end of the year , 800 people faced prosecution in these criminal cases, 55 of whom have already been handed over to courts and respective verdicts delivered,” said Davtyan who also explained the those investigations are ongoing.