Twenty-nine people will go on trial in Azerbaijan on July 2nd for allegedly plotting a wave of attacks that included a planned assassination of President Ilham Aliyev during last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, a court was told today in Baku.
“The trial is starting for the last group of suspects accused of trying to organise acts of terror and also an attempt on the life of the president of Azerbaijan during the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku,” documents from Baku’s court for serious crimes said.
Preliminary hearing of the accused is scheduled for July 2nd. Several people have already been convicted and served with lengthy prison sentences for the alleged Eurovision plot. The court heard that the alleged ringleader was killed in an operation to arrest him on the eve of Eurovision 2012.
After Eurovision 2012 was completed, Azerbaijan’s security ministry confirmed that it had intercepted a bid to stage “terrorist” attacks during Eurovision and had arrested more than 40 suspects.
The ministry said at the time” that the group had links with neighbouring Iran and was planning attacks on the concert hall where Eurovision was held, police buildings, hotels used by foreigners, mosques and other religious sites in the Caucasus state”.
Eurovision was the biggest cultural event ever staged in Azerbaijan since its independence in 1991. In the run up to the event there were several demonstrations by activist organisation against the authorities on Human Rights grounds.
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source – France 24