On the criminal case against E. Grigoryan and others in connection with the clashes that occurred in the city of Sumqayit on 27-29 February 1988
Under a decision taken by the Prosecutor's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic on 19 March 2010, the five criminal cases, which were launched in connection with the mass disturbances in the city of Sumqayit on 27-29 February and then closed, were resumed and merged into one case, and the investigation was assigned to an investigative-operational group of detectives and operatives from the Prosecutor's Office, the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of National Security under the direction of First Deputy Prosecutor-General Rustam Usubov.
In order to ensure a full, comprehensive and impartial investigation, queries were sent to the Presidential Administration of the Azerbaijan Republic, the Cabinet of Ministers, the State Committee for Refugees and Displaced Persons, the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Transport, the Supreme Court, the Confederation of Trade Unions, the Sumqayit city executive authorities, the penitentiary service of the Ministry of Justice, a number of Azerbaijani media outlets and the Prosecutor-General's Office of the Russian Federation.
The investigation established that as a result of the clashes in Sumqayit, 32 people of different nationalities were killed and more than 400 people were injured, while more than 200 flats were looted, more than 50 public facilities were ruined and more than 40 cars were damaged or partly burnt, which caused material damage worth 7 million roubles to the state in the then prices. In order to investigate these clashes, the USSR Prosecutor-General's Office launched Criminal Case No 18/55461-88. Some 444 people appeared before court, while 400 of them were held at remand centres for 10-15 days, others were sentenced to long prison terms and one person, Ahmad Ahmadov, was sentenced to death.
Immediately after the Sumqayit events, the Armenian side launched an anti-Azerbaijani propaganda campaign. The Armenian side spared no efforts and money to derive maximum possible benefit from those events, present Azerbaijanis to the world community as cruel, brutal, blood-thirsty and barbaric people and form the idea that for this reason, it is impossible to co-exist with them.
From the very first day of the events, the Armenian side held Azerbaijanis totally responsible for these events and tried to form the idea in the eyes of the world community that Azerbaijanis had committed an act of genocide against the Armenians. During all this period, the propaganda campaign of Armenian nationalists and separatists, as well as pro-Armenian forces has been conducted, and still continues, consistently, systemically, insidiously and uninterruptedly on a global scale.
It is clear that the national factor has always played a great role in political developments, and it is extremely difficult to suppress national conflicts. The consequences of the Nagornyy Karabakh issue, raised in the late 1980s, caused a number of problems in Azerbaijan, and the Armenians used this factor and intensified their activities in order to implement their evil intentions, organizing the Sumqayit events in order to achieve their goals and presenting Azerbaijanis as "savage".
Studies show that the terrible and bloody events which happened in Sumqayit had been well planned. By creating clashes in Sumqayit, an industrial city populated by representatives of different nationalities, the Armenians took one more step towards their dream of "a greater Armenia".
It is clear that the Sumqayit events were pre-planned and the following people were the culprits, organizers and perpetrators of this provocation:
Certain pro-Armenian circles in the central leadership led by the secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, M. S. Gorbachev; Their support for Armenian separatists in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and criminal inaction in resolving the conflict fairly from the very beginning and preventing the Sumqayit events in a timely fashion despite the fact that they had every opportunity to do so resulted in the conflict flaring at a late time.
Armenian nationalist and separatist forces, who wanted to seize the opportunity, tear the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region from Azerbaijan and annex it to Armenia;
Along with that, instead of tracking down and bringing to account the real masterminds and organizers of the Sumqayit events, the Soviet leadership created all sorts of obstacles to identifying them.
However, one of the criminals, Armenian Eduard Grigoryan, was held to account for the events.
The case documents show that the recidivist of Armenian origin, Eduard Robertovich Grigoryan, who was born in 1959, had three criminal convictions and had spent a total of nine years, two months and 13 days in prison, distributed alcoholic drinks and narcotic substances among teenagers and various criminal elements, who were at the forefront of those who committed those events and were instigated by a specially-trained sabotage group, directed them with the slogans of "Karabakh is Ours" and "Kill the Armenians" towards the homes of Armenians who had refused to pay money to the Karabakh (committee) and Krunk (society) organizations, actively participated in looting and other crimes and personally killed six Armenians.
However, Eduard Grigoryan was apprehended accidentally, and after those events, i.e. after the Armenian sisters Marina and Karina Mejlumyan identified him, he was held to account. Had Grigoryan not been identified by his Armenian victims, he would probably have been released in the belief that he was an Armenian who had been detained by accident. Likewise, his two brothers who were arrested in those events were released.
Thus, the current investigation established that Eduard Grigoryan himself and his two brothers participated in the looting of Armenian homes during those events.
Apart from that, other Armenians in Sumqayit also carried out acts of sabotage and then tried to blame them on Azerbaijanis.
For example, an Armenian man named Benik Grigoryan who lived in Sumqayit's 9th residential estate set fire to his house and that of his relative surnamed Babayan and blamed it on Azerbaijanis. After the houses of those Armenians were inspected, it became known that in fact, empty flats had been set on fire. When members of the investigative group drew attention to this fact, Benik Grigoryan offered them a bribe. However, the Soviet Prosecutor's Office did not give any legal assessment to that fact.
The current investigation has clearly established that Eduard Grigoryan and his brothers maintained contacts with emissaries from Nagorno-Karabakh and received from them the addresses of Armenians who were originally from Karabakh, rejected Armenian separatism and refused to donate money to their funds, as well as money to buy special pills and alcoholic drinks. After that, they made a deal with their depraved Azerbaijani neighbours, gave them alcoholic drinks and pills that make people more aggressive, told them that there was a good chance for looting and robbing, took them to the venue of a peaceful rally against Armenian claims to Karabakh, presented himself as an Azerbaijani from Kafan, and told the demonstrators that the Armenians had exterminated the peaceful Azerbaijani population in Kafan and that he had brought a vehicle loaded with corpses, urging them to exact revenge on the Armenians. After that, he said that he had a list of Armenians and that he knew where to go. Together with about 100 men who joined him, he spearheaded the looting of Armenian homes.
Some of the employees of the Sumqayit law enforcement agencies who were questioned in connection with the case (R. Aliyev, T. Mammadov, F, Jamalov, etc.) testified that although they had been sidelined from investigating the Sumqayit events, they had established that a sabotage group of 20-25 people who presented themselves as "Azerbaijanis expelled from Kafan" was operating in the city of Sumqayit. Even some Armenian victims had informed them about it. Although the investigative-operational group of the Soviet Prosecutor-General's Office was informed about this, that information was not checked and yielded no results for unknown reasons.
The same testimony was given by Nofal Ahmadov, who worked as a translator for the investigative group of the Soviet Prosecutor-General's Office. He testified that although members of the investigative-operational groups had repeatedly mentioned amongst themselves that they had received information about the aforesaid sabotage group, they did not take measures to expose that sabotage group.
A former employees of the Sumqayit city branch of the KGB, Hajiali Yarali oglu Hajialiyev, said in his testimony that he had received information about one of the main organizers and perpetrators of the Sumqayit events, Eduard Robertovich Girgoryan, alias "Pasha", and forwarded it to Yevgeniy Alekseyevich Popov, who headed the operations headquarters of the Soviet KGB for the Sumqayit events. However, he expressed his doubt about it, saying that he did not believe that a person of Armenian nationality could have organized crimes against Armenians. In early March, he was summoned by the chief of the KGB's Sumqayit branch, Vladimir Nazarovich Lebedev, who told him that his information about Eduard Grigoryan had proved true. According to Hajialiyev's testimony, he was instructed to open a registration-operational case to establish Eduard Grigoryan's role in the events and his contacts. During the operation, it was established that before the Karabakh events, Eduard Grigoryan had repeatedly met and spoken with a person of Armenian origin from Karabakh surnamed "Osipov" or "Osipyan". After receiving information later that Osipov (Osipyan) was serving time at a correctional labour facility in the Uzbek SSR, Hajialiyev decided to send a query to relevant agencies in Uzbekistan, however representatives of the Soviet KGB refused to sign and send that query on various pretexts.
Hajiali Hajialiyev also said that the investigative group of the Soviet Prosecutor-General's Office was interested only in the perpetrators of the clashes, did not carry out impartial work to establish the organizers of the crime and did not inquire about the results of operational assignments about the organizers of the crime.
The fact that Armenians were engaged in sabotage in Sumqayit was also clear from their behaviour during the events. For example, the chief pediatrician of Sumqayit, Khalida Shirin qizi Quliyeva, testified that immediately after the confrontation in the city, special medical headquarters were set up, ambulances carried those injured to hospitals and provided them with necessary assistance. A nurse of Armenian origin named Amalya approached her, saying that all the dead Armenians were originally from Karabakh.
Quliyev also said that before the events in Sumqayit, one of the employees of the party committee of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region phoned his sister named Svetlana who lived in Sumqayit and worked as a nurse at children's hospital No 2, to warn her that unrest would happen in Sumqayit soon and that she must leave the city.
During a congress of Soviet pediatricians several months after the Sumqayit events, a doctor named Nelli Grigoryan, a representative of the Armenian delegation from Nagorno-Karabakh, approached her and asked for a meeting in a less crowded place. During the conversation, she said that the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh was getting worse and that those who refuse to attend rallies and do not support the fictitious "genocide" are branded and arrested on various pretexts. The Armenians are preparing and trying to implement special plans in Azerbaijan and are even conducting a propaganda campaign in Sumqayit. They tell the relatives of Armenians killed during the Sumqayit events that if they had joined Krunk, they would have survived.
While she was visiting a hospital at the military garrison in the village of Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev outside Sumqayit in order to inspect the state of medical assistance to the Armenians who settled at the garrison during the events, she was told that there was a seriously ill Armenian child there and since the child was unlikely to recover, the Armenians planned to kill him and put the blame on Azerbaijanis in order to claim that Azerbaijanis have killed an ill Armenian child. As soon as she heard this, she approached the ward where the child was held and beckoned to Silva, a nurse of Armenian origin from children's home No 1, who was there and whom she knew. A short while later, Silva approached her and said that the Armenians had told the child's mother that "the child would remain maimed for the rest of his life, let him die and we will take his body to Sumqayit's central square and put him in front of the monument to Lenin so that everyone can see that Azerbaijanis do not show mercy even for an Armenian child". They immediately placed that child under stricter surveillance with the help of the military and the child's condition improved after he received medical attention.
The Armenians themselves have also admitted that had it not been for the Sumqayit events, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would have developed totally differently, the rallies in Stepanakert (Khankandi) would have slackened off and the Dashnaks' plans would have been ruined.
At that time, the testimony of Malak Bayramova, who worked as second secretary of the Sumqayit city party committee, Tavakkul Yaqub olgu Mammadov, who worked as chairman of the executive committee of the City Soviet of People's Deputies, and others shows that the activities of the city leadership and the local law enforcement agencies had been paralyzed by the instructions and orders issued by General Krayev and others who had been sent from Moscow.
The editor of Sumqayit newspaper, Qudrat Balakishi oglu Malikov, testified that after the events in the city, they prepared the next edition of Sumqayit Sosialisti newspaper for publication. However, a military commandant named Krayev, who had been sent from Moscow, did not allow them to publish the newspaper, saying that the events had been perpetrated not by "extremists" as they had written, but by a bunch of hooligans and that they cannot write about "extremists" in the newspaper. The Moscow representative even threatened them, saying that the issue would be examined at the bureau and they would be punished.
A former instructor of the Sumqayit city party committee, Seyfaddin Karim oglu Rahimov, testified that they had conducted a poll among demonstrators in order to calm people down during those events in Sumqayit. However, at the same time, there were men and women at the site who engaged in anti-Armenian propaganda and presented themselves as refugees from Armenia who had brought a bus loaded with corpses. However, they did not look local. He recalls that such a group had also been seen at the central square inside a PAZ bus. As the bus stopped among the demonstrators, screams were heard from the bus. When the doors of the bus opened, the feet of an allegedly dead man were seen from inside. People who got off the bus – a young man and women dressed in black – were shouting that the Armenians had been killing Azerbaijanis in Armenia, had been cutting off women's breasts and so on and called for revenge against the Armenians. When one of the participants in the rally shouted that they were lying, one of the people who had got off the bus turned towards him and said "you are Armenian", trying to set people against him. He told those around him "these people are useless, I know where Armenians are living", ordering a group of people to follow him.
The former secretary of the party committee of the Sumqayit city department of internal affairs, Huseynaga Agayar oglu Khanjanov, testified that the first clash happened on 27 February. On 28 February, 12 people had already been reported killed in the city. When Police Lt-Col Khanlar Jafarov, now retired, who was acting chief of the department of internal affairs at the time, asked General Krayev, who had been sent to control the situation, to order military units stationed in the village of Nasosni (currently Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev) be deployed in Sumqayit, Krayev told him "you can't tackle even a bunch of hooligans" and refused to help. For this reason, the casualties increased even more and 20 more people were reported dead the next day. Twenty-six of those killed were Armenians and six were Azerbaijanis.
Only after that, were troops sent into the city and a curfew was imposed. Most of the soldiers in the Soviet army units sent into the city were Armenians. The soldiers mistreated Azerbaijanis, arrested innocent people and used physical violence against them. They had been instructed to release detainees immediately if they were Armenians. For this reason, Armenian agents provocateurs were not captured.
Although the city prosecutor, Ismat Qayibov, instituted criminal proceedings into the criminal offences that had happened, four days later the investigative group of the Soviet Prosecutor-General's Office sent from Moscow took charge of the criminal case and suspended employees of the Sumqayit and Azerbaijani law enforcement agencies from the investigation. In this situation, it was easier for the Armenians to have themselves recognized as unconditional victims and all the detained Armenians were released as if they had been arrested by mistake.
Khanjanov was questioned personally by the chief investigator of the Soviet KGB, Col Zubtsev, who forced him to write explanations every day for 17 days. After he told Zubtsev that these crimes were an Armenian provocation, Zubtsev told him that you are not the only one who says this, many people are saying this, and he promised to investigate this. After that, they went to the territory of the 3rd residential estate where the events had happened. Buildings had been ruined in a systemic way there. Although Armenian families living on lower floors and their flats did not suffer any damage, Armenian families living on higher floors and their flats had been attacked, people had been killed, flats had been looted and their property had been damaged and destroyed. He showed all this to Zubtsev and explained why this may have happened, saying that if Azerbaijanis had really wanted to kill the Armenians, they would have invaded the flats on lower floors and killed the Armenians living there. But the killings had been carried out on the basis of a special plan and scheme. His own investigation showed that the Armenians who donated membership fees to the Krunk national organization had not been affected, while the killed and injured Armenians were mainly poor Armenians from families that were unable to pay money to Krunk. Zubtsev understood what he said and the reasons and mechanism of the crimes. On their way back, he told him: "I believe you and facts prove what you said. But who do you rely on? Heydar Aliyev? He is no longer there."
Sumqayit's chief psychiatrist Mail Bagi oglu Tagiyev testified that when he spent his holiday in Sochi in early February 1988, he encountered a woman named Anaida Martirosyan, a correspondent of the Russian-language Sumqayit newspaper Kommunist Sumgaita. He told her that he was planning to return to Sumqayit on 10 February and suggested that they travel together.
Anaida replied that she did not want to return to Suqayit any time soon and wanted to go back in mid-March. When he expressed his surprise, Anaida said that her leave was not long, but she knew that major unpleasant events would happen in Sumqayit soon, which is why she did not want to be in Sumqayit. He did not pay attention to Anaida's words, but recalled them when the events started to unfold and realized that Anaida was aware that the Armenians were planning a provocation in Sumqayit.
Since he was a doctor, he knew most of the Armenians living in Sumqayit and saw that all the Armenians who sought medical attention or were taken to hospitals at the time of the events were the poorest and quietest Armenians.
He learnt from his contacts with his Armenian acquaintances that the emissary of the Krunk organization in Sumqayit was an Armenian colonel surnamed Kalantarov, who had been transferred from Karabakh to Sumqayit as a military commissary. He had a list of all Armenians living there and their addresses and vanished during the events on the pretext of looking for a new job.
Haji Maharram oglu Abdullayev testified that before the Sumqayit events, in late December 1987, he visited his native village in Armenia's Kafan District. His father told him that Armenians in the district centre were saying that the Karabakh committee was preparing a secret operation. The implementation of the operation was supposed to create conditions for the seizure of Karabakh from Azerbaijan and its handover to Armenia.
On 26 February 1988, his fellow villager Ali Aliyev came to see his son Vazir who lived in Sumqayit. He asked Ali about his family and parents. Ali said that the Armenians were threatening them again, but everything was fine and some people were preparing to move out. At the same time, he said that the Armenians were sending their activists to Azerbaijani-populated villages and threatening people, saying that all Azerbaijanis would be exterminated if they did not leave by 20 February. Moscow was informed about this and it was reported that a general surnamed Makashov had come to Kafan to calm down the situation.
After hearing this news, he felt assured that his parents were safe. At that time, he lived in an illegally built house with his wife and two children near the Sumqayit coach station and worked as a plasterer at Sumqayit's construction-assembly department No 25.
In those days, they worked at the construction site of the Jeyranbatan polymer factory. They went to work by bus early in the morning and returned home in the evening. On 27 February, he came to the Sumgayit city coach station early in the morning and went to work by bus. At that moment, the situation in the city was quiet. As he returned from work at about 1600 in the evening, he saw some commotion at the Sumqayit city coach station. About 6 or 7 young men wearing shabby overalls were loudly telling 15-20 people around them that a vehicle loaded with the bodies of Azerbaijanis killed by Armenians had been delivered to Baku from Kafan. They were instigating people, saying that Armenians lived in the best houses here and had the most best-paid and easiest jobs and no-one was saying anything to them. Some of those people confirmed what they were saying. Those people dressed in black overalls told people - "let's go to the square and demand that Armenians be expelled from the city and if no-one listens to us, we will expel them ourselves". One of them looked Lezgin or Russian and was called "Pasha".
He saw that these people, that's to say the 6 or 7 people who did not really look Azerbaijani were stirring up trouble. That's why he asked those people: "Where are you from, why are you lying? I am from Kafan myself and I came from there yesterday. No-one has been killed there."
"Pasha" and those around him told him that they were from Kafan. He asked: What part of Kafan are you from? What village are you from?" They said that they were from the town of Kafan. He told them: "You are not from Kafan. I know from your accept that you are not from there." They laughed at him, and one of them even called him a "traitor" who sided with Armenians. "Maybe you are Armenian," he said.
After that, those people did not listen to him any more and headed for the city bazaar through Sulh Street. A lot of people had already gathered around them.
He followed those people to find out what they were intending to do and why they were instigating people. However, the arrived at Lenin Square and saw that a lot of people had already gathered there. A woman who worked as secretary of the city party committee and the chairman of the executive committee of the city council, Mammadov, were at the rostrum. Someone had installed a microphone and a loudspeaker there.
The aforesaid 6 or 7 people started saying again that "Armenians have killed our people in Kafan, and we have brought a vehicle loaded with corpses". Those who had gathered there started chanting anti-Armenian slogans. At this moment, he saw that an actress of the Sumqayit Drama Theatre, Afaq Safarova, was also there. She approached the microphone and said that those who stir up trouble and want to cause ethnic strife must be exposed. He approached the people and said: "People, do not believe lies. I am from Kafan. One person came from there yesterday. My parents also live there, and no-one has been killed there. It is a rumour." However, the people in black overalls kept instigating people, while some people called him a traitor, saying that he was defending the Armenians. At this moment, they saw that someone started throwing stones and broke the windows of the foyer in the house of culture near the square.
The testimony of Igor Mammadkhanovich Agayev shows that one of the speakers at the rally staged in front of the city party committee on 28 February 1988 drew more attention as he had a beard and long hair, was about 40-45, of a medium height and had a non-Azerbaijani accent. Later on, he saw two 30-35-year-old athletic Caucasian-looking men in front of the crowd heading for the 3rd residential estate from the party committee at about 1700 – one of them was wearing a white scarf and the other one – a long black raincoat. When an investigator of the Soviet Prosecutor-General's Office questioned him later, he informed him about the persons who addressed the rally, and the investigator told him that they were interested in one of those persons and that he was wanted in the Russian Federation for a murder, adding that his surname was either Petrosyan or Pogosyan.
Alim Aziz oglu Habibov, who was convicted for the Sumqayit events, testified that he came to the Sputnik shop on 28 February 1988 and saw that a group of people broke the windows of the ship and distributed alcoholic drinks and white pills.
Niyazi Asif oglu Valikhanov testified that the investigative brigade included detectives and operatives of the Prosecutor's Office, Interior Ministry and the KGB. Individual groups of detectives and operatives were set up to investigate separate incidents that happened during the clashes, and those incidents had been divided between these groups. A separate group was also set up to investigate the organizers of the mass clashes. If one group received information about the organizers of the clashes, they were supposed to pass that information onto that group. It became known that Eduard Robertovich Grigoryan, who was Armenian by origin, actively participated in those clashes. Eduard Grigoryan was a very sly and careful person and put pressure on other suspects during identity parades.
The investigation clearly established that the clashes in Sumqayit served the interests of certain circles.
As a member of the investigative group to probe into the August 1991 coup attempt in Moscow, he searched the office of the former Soviet Interior Minister Boris Pugo, who committed suicide later, and saw separate files on the expulsion of Meskhetian Turks from Uzbekistan, the Nagorno-Karabakh events and other such events while looking through documents on shelves in Pugo's office. While looking through the files, he found out that the Soviet Interior Ministry was informed about the Krunk organization operating in Nagorno-Karabakh, its members and the Karabakh events from the very first days. This information was comprised of notes from the Armenian and Azerbaijani interior ministries and reports by relevant departments of the Soviet Interior Ministry. It became known that the Soviet leadership was aware of all the events from the very first days, but did not take action.
Valikhanov's testimony also shows that the then leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, stated that those who committed the Sumqayit events were hooligans. In January 1989, the deputy prosecutor-general of the Soviet Union, A, Katusev, arrived in Sumqayit and demanded that the criminal cases against jailed suspects be completed within a short period of time. After that, all efforts were directed at completing the cases launched against suspects first of all.
According to the testimony of Samaya Mirza qizi Dianova, who worked as director of the Demiryol Vagzali Hotel in 1988, and Fazila Abbas qizi Najafova, the administrator of the hotel, they had seen several people from Armenia living in the hotel in February 1988 and holding meetings with various people of Armenian nationality here. Those Armenians identified themselves as employees of the law-enforcement agencies and spoke in Armenian to the Armenians who had come to meet them there.
The investigation also established that in January and February 1988, Armenians withdrew their money en masse from Sumqayit banks.
It was established that in January-February 1988, i.e. before the mass clashes in Sumqayit, 84 depositors of Armenian origin withdrew 143,064 roubles from 14 banks operating in the city.
The preliminary documents on the withdrawal of deposits from the second Sumqayit city branch of Kapitalbank show that during the aforesaid period, 18 people withdrew more than 1,000 roubles, seven withdrew more than 2,000 roubles, eight people – more than 3,000 roubles, four people – more than 4,000 roubles and three people – more than 5,000 roubles.
The investigation established 33 people who worked on different positions in various Sumqayit banks in 1988.
Yazgul Alasgar qizi Quliyeva, who worked as chief cashier in savings bank No 193 in 1971-2007, was questioned in connection with the case. She testified that she learnt from conversations, television, newspapers and other courses at the end of 1987 that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh were staging rallies and demanding that Nagorno-Karabakh secede from the Azerbaijan Republic and merge with the Republic of Armenia.
In early 1988, she heard from the bank's employees that the Armenians had started withdrawing their money from banks en masse. Saying that a woman named Siranush Baranova withdrew more than 5,000 roubles from the bank on 21 January 1988, she testified that asked why she wanted to withdraw her money from the bank, she said that since she was Armenian, unknown people often phoned and threatened her, demanding that she donate money to the Krunk committee.
Zamina Mahmud qizi Mammadova, who worked as an operator at savings bank No 200 in 1981-1995, was questioned as a witness in the case. She testified that she issued 3,000 roubles to Ramella Ayrapetyan on 3 January 1988.
Testifying about the issue of 1,638 roubles to Lida Martirosova on 29 January 1988, Khanim Rahman qizi Jafarova, who worked as a superviser at savings bank No 178 in 1975-1988, said that she knew Lida Martorosiva as a depositor very well. She was born in Davachi District and went to an Azerbaijani school. As she withdrew her money, she said that unknown people had phoned and threatened her, demanding that she donate money to the Krunk committee.
The witness, Aziza Tanriverdi qizi Khalilova, who worked as a cashier in savings bank No 181 for 19 years, testified that on 13 February 1988, Larisa Surenovna Sayan, who lived near the bank, told her when she withdrew 5,119 roubles from the bank that Krunk members had phoned her, demanding money.
Sevda Musa qizi Musayeva, the director of savings bank No 177, testified that when she issued 1,013 roubles to Marina Osipyan on 19 February 1988, Osipyan told her that someone had threatened her and demanded that she pay money.
The investigation also established that in January-February 1988, i.e. before the mass clashes in Sumqayit, numerous phone calls were made to Armenia and a lot of money was transferred from post offices operating in the city. In this regard, people who worked at post offices at the time were identified and questioned.
Marina Nikolayevna Sorokina, who worked at post office No 11, testified that, people named Zhenya Arustamyan and Raisa Mejlumyan worked with her at the post office in 1987-1988. Beginning from the end of 1987, those people often had private conversations and stopped talking when other staff members approached them. At the same time, they received numerous phone calls and were visited by numerous Armenians who spoke to them in private. Along with that, Armenians who did not use the services of the post offices previously started sending more money to Armenia. The sum of the transfers was only 10-15 roubles, but the number of transfers was high. She saw receipts for those transfers on the desk of the deputy director of the post office, Alyona Balayan, who she was compiling a list, although these transfers had nothing to do with her. When Balayan saw her, she covered the list with another document.
Kheyransa Khantay qizi Ahmadova also gave similar testimony.
Sumqayit residents Firudin Morukh olgu Hasanov, Nadir Huseynali oglu Agamaliyev, Filman Mammadqulu oglu Jahangirzada and others also testified that some of their Armenian neighbours supported Armenian separatist actions in Nagorno-Karabakh, made extremist remarks and carried out some propaganda work ahead of the events in Sumqayit.
Nina Vasilyevna Qasimova, a neighbour of Artash Grigoryan who lived in quarter 45, house 1/48, flat 38 in Sumqayit, testified that Armenians working at the Sintezkauchuk factory changed their attitude to Azerbaijanis and even Russians in late 1987, held gatherings where they spoke their own language and read newspapers in Armenian which looked more like campaign fliers. Her neighbour Artash Grigoryan also changed his attitude to his neighbours, did not socialize with neighbours of other nationalities, was visited by people of Armenian nationality who did not look local and had cars with Armenian number plates, and they discussed something in their own language. Before the mass clashes, Artash and other Armenians living in that building left the city. Speaking about people who participated in the clashes, she said that those people were tall and athletic young men who spoke Russian and did not look like local residents.
Natavan Anvar qizi Bayramova, who was questioned as a witness, testified that Anatoli Davidyan, who worked with her at the laboratory of the tube-rolling mill, was also her neighbour. At the end of 1987, Davidyan changed his attitude to his colleagues, did not talk to Azerbaijanis and started spending his breaks with Armenians working at other sections. She saw various documents, letters and receipts for money transfers on Davidyan's desk several times. Apart from that, she saw Davidyan talking to several unknown Armenians in Armenian and said that he was visited by people in cars with Armenian number plates. Several times he tried to start a discussion saying that Nagorno-Karabakh was an Armenian land and that this land had been handed over to Azerbaijan by mistake, but on seeing his colleagues' negative reaction, he stopped doing that.
A member of the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan SSR, Mansur Ibayev, who examined the criminal case against E. Grigoryan and others, testified that while looking through the case, he realized that only perpetrators had been held to account, while the investigative body took no action to track down and hold to account people of Armenian nationality who organized those crimes, although there was enough information about them. For this reason, he returned the case to the investigative body for further investigation into some episodes of the criminal case in order to hold to account those who had organized those crimes.
In connection with the 22 December 1989 decision of the Panel of Judges at the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan SSR to return the criminal case against Eduard Robertovich Grigoryan and others for further investigation of individual episodes, Nizami Safarov, who participated in the crimes he committed together with Eduard Grigoryan in the city of Sumqayit on 27-29 February 1988, was identified and interrogated.
Nizami Safarov testified that Eduard Grigoryan who lived in the same apartment block as him participated in those events together with him and informed the crowd about the flats of Armenians in the buildings that were attacked during those events. Nizami Safarov also testified that on 28 February 1988, Eduard Grigoryan, his brother Albert Grigoryan and unknown people in black raincoats, while speaking in Armenian among themselves, distributed vodka among people in a GAZ-53 vehicle. Apart from that, metal sticks inside the GAZ-53 vehicle were thrown on the ground and handed out to the people that were there. Eduard Grigoryan himself also took one of those metal sticks and called for attacks on Armenians. On that day, Eduard Grigoryan gave him a white pill. After taking it, he felt stronger and more confident. He said that he committed his crimes under the influence of that drug.
Vaqif Vahabali oglu Huseynov, who committed crimes together with Eduard Grigoryan, died on 22 November 2006. The whereabouts of two other participants in the events, Afsar Islam oglu Isayev and Qalib Qadirshah oglu Mammadov, have not been identified, and investigative measures are under way to hold them to account.
Lyudmila Arshakovna Agayeva (Manukyan), Gretta Vanichkayevna Mustafayeva (Kokhlikyan), Nina Sogomonovna Mirzoyan and others (11 people), who are currently living in the city of Sumqayit and are married to Azerbaijanis, testified that they have been living in Sumqayit for a long time and maintain good relations with Azerbaijanis. They said wealthy Armenian families living in Sumqayit moved out before the events and donated money to the Karabakh committee, while poor families were attacked.
The investigation into the killing of D. Khudatov, D. Orujov, Y. Qasimov, S. Aliyev and V. Babayev as a result of actions by the military and others during the mass clashes was closed by the military prosecutor's office of the Baku Garrison on 30 December 1988. The investigation of this criminal case has now established that a Baku resident of Armenian origin, Valeri Markaryan, brought soldiers to Sumqayit, and taking advantage of the situation, knocked down peaceful people in the streets with a bus, deliberately killing four Azerbaijanis.
Ten witnesses were questioned on that episode. Two of these people were injured and two were close relatives of injured people, while six were drivers of the bus that took the soldiers to Sumqayit.
The witness, Rasim Sabir oglu Shikhaliyev testified that he had heard that Valeri Markaryan had knocked down and killed four or five Azerbaijanis with his bus at the Sumqayit city coach station.
The drivers, Amrah Mahammad oglu Babashov and Maharram Rzaaga oglu Qurbanov, also testified that they had heard that Markaryan had knocked down and killed Azerbaijanis with his bus.
Vyacheslav Sergeyevich Orlov (now deceased), who witnessed the events testified when detectives of the investigative group of the Soviet Prosecutor-General's Office questioned him in March 1988 that Markaryan had killed Azerbaijanis with his bus. He confirmed his testimony during an identity parade with Markaryan. During the identity parade, Markaryan himself confirmed Orlov's testimony.
Valeh Surkhay oglu Aliyev, the father of Surkhay Valeh oglu Aliyev who was knocked down by Markaryan, testified that he moved to Sumqayit with his family from Kafan District of the Armenian SSR in 1985 and settled with his family of eight in a six-square-metre one-storey brick house near a chemical factory. In 1988, his sister came from Kafan District, saying that Armenians were putting pressure on Azerbaijanis there. After that, about 10 women, who were his close relatives, moved to Sumqayit from Armenia and settled in his decrepit house. Men were even forced to sleep outside because there was little room in the house.
Safikhan Ibrahim oglu Ibrahimov's testimony shows that when he went to work with his colleague Haji Qasim oglu Qasimov from the old coach station in Sumqayit at about 1600 on 29 February 1988, he heart shouts saying that a bus had knocked down people. He went onto the carriageway to see what was going on, but on seeing that an armoured personnel carrier was driving towards them, he tried to run away. The armoured personnel carrier injured his foot and drove over a person he did not know.
After the incident, Valeri Markaryan escaped to Baku.
Measures are currently being taken to give a legal assessment to the deliberate murder of several people by Valeri Markaryan and to resolve the issue of accountability.
The investigation into the crimes committed in the city of Sumqayit on 27-29 February 1988 is continuing.