20 July, 2017
An Azerbaijani court has sentenced Israeli-Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin to three years in prison, according to local media reports Thursday.
Lapshin, who is a citizen of several countries, is accused of violating Azerbaijani laws on state border in April 2011 and October 2012.
Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan.
Lapshin will serve the sentence in a correctional facility upon the court decision.
In December, Azerbaijan issued an global arrest warrant for Lapshin on charges of "violating the state border" over several visits to Nagorno-Karabakh along the Armenian border without coordinating with the authorities in the capital, Baku.
The 40-year-old blogger holds dual Russian-Israeli citizenship.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on July 20 when asked whether Lapshin might be extradited to Russia, saying it was "not the Kremlin's issue".
Lapshin is charged under the Article 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state) and 318.2 (illegal crossing border of the Republic of Azerbaijan) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Despite Russia's objections, Belarusian authorities extradited Lapshin to Baku in February. "He has also called on infringement of territorial integrity of internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan".