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Armenian provocation to blame Azerbaijanis in Sumgayit events - senior investigator

Armenians tried to burn down their homes in Azerbaijani city of Sumgayit, and blame Azerbaijanis in that, senior investigator of the Investigative Directorate for Serious Crimes under the Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office Nadir Mirzayev said addressing the meeting dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Sumgayit events of 1988.

The investigation ascertained that although former members of security agencies had been discharged from the investigations concerning the Sumgayit events, their analysis showed that a diversion group consisting of 20—25 people and pretending to be “Azerbaijanis expelled from Gaphan” had been acting in the city, Mirzoyev said touching upon the diversion groups’ involvement in the Sumgayit events.

“Some suffered Armenians told them [investigators] about that. Even though the information had been submitted to operative-investigative group of USSR Prosecutor General’s Office, for some reason it wasn’t inspected and was gone fruitless. It was also determined that a group of persons was speaking on the meetings calling to expel Armenians from the city. The persons weren’t residents of Sumgayit and were speaking in Armenian among themselves,” Nadir Mirzayev said.

It was revealed that on the eve of the Sumgayit events a number of cars with Armenian registration numbers had been detected in the city. Moreover, many Armenian individuals had been staying in Baku and Sumgayit hotels and left out right after the events.

It was also determined that Armenians living in Sumgayit tried to provocatively burn down their homes and property and blame Azerbaijanis in that. The investigation ascertained that Armenians knew about the mass disorder in advance.

The day before the mass disorder special video filming equipment, tripods for video cameras etc., were installed on the rooftops of numerous buildings in different parts of Sumgayit. During the events, robbery of Armenians’ homes, as well as the actions of a naked woman in the street, was recorded with soviet servicemen’s consent by an individual, who presented himself as Armenian.

These facts prove that the mass disorder in Sumgayit was orchestrated by Armenian nationalists and sympathetic provokers from the Soviet government, the senior investigator said.

Mirzoyev noted that an investigative group conducted a search in the office of USSR’s former Interior Minister Boris Pugo in the framework of the August 1991 coup d’état attempt case. Among the documents found were folders with data on exile of Meskhetian Turks from Uzbekistan, the events in Nagorno-Karabakh etc.

The data in the documents revealed that the Soviet Interior Ministry was being comprehensively informed about the “Krunk” organization, operating in Nagorno-Karabakh, its members and activity. The data included information both from the interior ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan and from the respective agencies of the Soviet Interior Ministry. The Soviet government had known about the events since the very first day but purposely stayed idle.

The criminal case on murder of D.Khudatov, D.Orujov, Y.Gasymov, S.Aliyev and V.Babayev during the mass disorder caused by actions of servicemen and other persons, was closed on Dec. 30, 1988 by Military Prosecutor’s Office of Baku Garrison. It was later merged with the current case No. 60206 [on the Sumgayit events] to continue the investigation.

The investigation determined that Valery Markaryan, an Armenian resident of Baku with extremist ideas, brought soldiers to Sumgayit and used the highly-dangerous situation to drive a bus into civilians, ultimately killing five Azerbaijanis. Markaryan’s connection with Armenian extremist organizations of Sumgayit was also established, Mirzoyev said.

Many Armenians were saved by Azerbaijani neighbors and friends, who had hid them in their homes from robbery, raids and other violence.

“In spite of the propaganda from dashnak-communist groups creating an image of “wild and bloodthirsty Azerbaijanis”, Armenians exposed to violence from Armenians was saved by their Azerbaijani neighbors. These facts along with the materials of the criminal case were also included in the decisions of the Russian Federation’s special courts,” the senior investigator said.