An Azerbaijani soldier taken prisoner by Armenian forces has been charged with treason after returning home, prosecutors in Azerbaijan said on Monday.
Prosecutors said soldier Vyusal Garajayev was captured on December 7 last year by ethnic Armenian separatists who, with Armenian support, control most of Nagorno-Karabakh. He was returned home on December 23 under the auspices of the Red Cross.
"(Vyusal) Garajayev, born in 1988, has been arrested. A criminal case has been opened against him on the basis of article 274 (treason)," a spokesman for Azerbaijan's military prosecutors, Afraim Tahmazov, told Reuters on Monday. He did not specify what the soldier was alleged to have done to betray his country while in captivity.
The Armenian side could not immediately be reached for comment.
More than 35,000 people died in a conflict over the mountainous territory about half the size of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. A ceasefire was agreed in 1994.