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Prosecutor’s Office: Investigation underway into criminal case on 20 January tragedy

“No positive response has so far been given to the requests submitted to Russia’s law enforcement authorities”

The investigation is underway into the criminal case launched on the 20 January tragedy.


Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson, Eldar Sultanov told APA that the preliminary investigation into the 20 January tragedy was conducted by the USSR Prosecutor General’s Office. A decision dated Dec. 20, 1990 was made to suspend the execution of the criminal case due to the conclusion that there was no corpus delicti in the actions of the military.


“The decision on cessation was terminated by Azerbaijan’s Office of Prosecutor General on Feb. 14, 1992, and instead a new criminal case launched under the then-Criminal Code’s article #94, items 4 and 6, (deliberate murder under aggravating circumstances), #149 (deliberate destruction or damage to property), #168 (excess of authority or service powers), #255 (abuse of authority and excess of authority). The investigation continues.


The investigation revealed that 132 people were killed, 612 – injured, 841 – illegally arrested as a result of committed crimes. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed, causing damage to the state and citizens in large amount.


In 1994 decisions were made to prosecute the former first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan Abdurahman Vezirov and others. They were sentenced to pre-trial detention and wanted due to the fact that they run away, hiding from the investigation.


As former chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan, Elmira Gafarova, and the second secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan Victor Polyanichko, found guilty of the crime, died, the criminal case against them was ceased.


The materials of the criminal case consisting of 68 volumes were taken to Moscow because the criminal case was filed by the USSR Prosecutor General’s Office. The requests for the return of these materials to the Office of Prosecutor General of the Azerbaijan Republic and the necessary documents specified by the law for the detention and transfer of the accused people under investigation have already been submitted to Russia’s law enforcement bodies. But a positive response has not been given to these requests,” he noted.

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