Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) reported on Wednesday the arrest of an Armenian man accused of spying for Azerbaijan.
In a statement, the NSS said that the 60-year-old suspect, Khachik Martirosian, is a retired senior police officer who offered to collaborate with Azerbaijani intelligence and was recruited by it last August. It claimed that intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover at the Azerbaijani Embassy in Georgia assigned him to collect “information of military nature” in Armenia.
“Martirosian intended to pass information collected by him on to the Azerbaijanis but that was thwarted by NSS bodies,” read the statement. He was arrested on January 31, it said.
Martirosian has most probably been formally charged with high treason. It is not yet clear whether he will plead guilty to the grave accusation.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security was quick to dismiss the NSS claims. “We don’t know such a person,” Haqqin.az quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.
Armenians and Azerbaijanis have periodically been arrested and imprisoned on charges of spying for the enemy intelligence. Last July, two ethnic Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh received lengthy prison sentences on espionage charges stemming from their communication with an obscure foreigner through a Russian online social network. They said they never thought that they are collaborating with an Azerbaijani intelligence officer and therefore do not consider themselves guilty of high treason.