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Leyla and Arif Yunus charged
Vestnik Kavkaza, Russia Aug 1 2014
1 August 2014 - 1:52pm
Couple Leyla and Arif Yunus have been charged with treason, tax evasion, fraud and illegal business today. They were detained at Baku Airport while trying to fly abroad in April.
Three months later, the Prosecutor General's Office and the National Security Ministry of Azerbaijan have published a joint declaration accusing the two of secretly cooperating with certain individuals for coordination of actions with the Armenian intelligence.
According to their information, the Yunusovs contacted several Azerbaijani citizens with intelligence officers of Armenia and were collecting information about the socio-political situation in Azerbaijan, its industrial, energy and military complex. The Prosecutor General's Office and the National Security Ministry believe that the information could have been used against Azerbaijan.
Since 2002, Leyla Yunusova has been heading the Peace and Democracy Institute, which, according to the Prosecutor General's Office and the ministry, was helping recruit citizens. David Shakhnazaryan and Lara Bagdasaryan were presumably involved in the process under the pretext of realizing joint projects in the public diplomacy sector of the Regional Research Center and Armenian NGOs. It was all done using grants from international donor organizations, money transferred from a British bank by Karen Ogajanyan in 2002 and large transfers from Armenian NGOs.
On April 19, before the arrest, Azerbaijani citizen Rauf Mirkadyrov was arrested for allegedly betraying his country and spying for the Armenian intelligence services. He was sentenced for treason.
Mirkadyrov and Arif Yunus, who was escorting him abroad, were visiting Armenia through the territory of Georgia. They met Armenian ex-Minister for National Security David Shakhnazaryan and officials of other intelligence-controlled services.
At one of the meetings, Rauf Mirkayrov handed maps with positions and photographs of military bases, airfields and other strategic military facilities of Azerbaijan to Armenian intelligence officers.
It was all done without payment. According to the National Security Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan, Leyla Yunus was getting great profit from grant contracts and evading taxes.
Leyla and Arif Yunus were summoned for questioning many times but they evaded the appointments. As a result, in late July they were forced to attend for questioning. Leyla was taken under arrest, Arif Yunus is under police surveillance.
The investigation continues.
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