Armenia's allegations against Azerbaijan regarding the detention of Vagif Khachatryan are unfounded, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in response to the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
To evade its obligations, Armenia is once again attempting to deceive and politically manipulate the international community regarding the arrest of Vagif Khachatryan by the State Border Service of Azerbaijan at the Lachin border checkpoint while trying to cross into Armenia in an ICRC vehicle on July 29.
"As stated in the information of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Vagif Khachatryan committed a massacre against the Azerbaijani population in the Meshali village of the Khojaly region within a group of Armenian armed formations on December 22, 1991. 25 Azerbaijanis were killed, 14 were wounded and 358 were displaced in the mass killings," the statement reads.
Khachatryan was charged under the articles 'genocide' and 'deportation or forced exile of population' of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan within the aforementioned criminal case, with pre-trial detention being ordered by the court as a preventative measure, the ministry noted.
Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said earlier that Khachatryan tried to use ICRC medical evacuation for human smuggling.
"'Protest' by official, public/media institutions of Armenia to detention of war criminal Vagif Khachatryan, who killed 25 Azerbaijani civilians, is nothing but an act of supporting and justifying war crimes at state level," Hikmat Hajiyev said.