The first president of Azerbaijan recently gave an extremely interesting interview to one of the Russian TV channels in which it is narrated that the first president of Azerbaijan, who proclaimed the independence of the country, at present is living in the outskirts of Moscow in a state apartment, without a passport and livelihood.

An ordinary refugee with triumphal past and rather obscure future. This is how the Azerbaijani treat their leaders when the power passes to other hands.

According to the reportage: "The ruling class of the Alievs did everything so that the citizens should consider Heydar Aliev to be the founder of their country and
should forget that they had ever had a first president. It is already 15 years that Ayaz Mutalibov has been wanted by the police in his country. Heydar Aliev accused him of plotting coup d'etat.

Mutalibov denies the accusation but does not return to his homeland no to be taken to prison. He is considered as an enemy in his motherland and Ayaz Mutalibov is not admitted even by the Azerbaijani community in Moscow".

"He ran to Moscow two months after his resignation and two days after the feeble attempt to return to the President's palace. When the armed supporters of the opposition went out to the streets to demand the president's resignation, Mutalibov went to the Russian military airport and, leaving his family in Baku, escaped from the country. Now he avoids speaking about this fact, but it is certain that Mutalibov preferred to save himself and only after several days his friends took his family in cars first to Daghestan and then to Moscow. He has been an exile since then: a guest to Russia, an enemy to Azerbaijan, an enemy to Armenia".

"The whole negative after the Khojaly tragedy was focused on me. I had to take the whole responsibility upon myself though I was not guilty of anything", – claimed Ayaz Mutalibov in the interview. Let us remind you that on the 2nd of April in 1992, in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" Ayaz Mutalibov gave an interview to an independent Czech journalist, Dana Mazalova, who afterwards became persecuted in her own country. The cause of all these trials was the excessive frankness of the first president which cost him his impeachment. During the interview it became quite clear that the Azerbaijani version of the Khojaly events is none other than a well-planned provocation of the Azerbaijani.

The clan of the Alievs did not forgive Mutalibov for such frankness.

From the interview of the former president of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov to the Czech journalist Dana Mazalova, "Njvaya Gazeta", 2.04.92

Question: What is your opinion about the KHOJALY events after which you resigned? Dead bodies of the Khojaly inhabitants were found not far from Aghdam. Someone first shot at legs so that people could not go farther. Then he added the axe, on the 29th of February my colleagues took photos of all this. Then during new sequences these very corpses were scalped. A very strange game…

Answer: As the Khojali inhabitants, who narrowly escaped, say, it was all organized in order to have ground for my resignation. Some forces functioned for the effort to discredit the president. I don't think that Armenians, who always have a distinct and competent attitude towards such situations, could have let the Azerbaijani get the documents unmasking them in fascist actions. It could be supposed that somebody is interested to show these sequences afterwards, at the BC session and to focus everything on my person.

If I claim the Azerbaijani opposition to be guilty in it, they might say that I am telling lies about them. However, the general background of arguments is, that a corridor by which the people could leave, was, nevertheless, left by Armenians. Why then would they begin to shoot? Especially in the territory nearby Aghdam, where by that time there had been enough forces to help the people. Or, just come to an agreement that the civil population will leave. Such practice has always been usual.
I have always been told that people in Khojaly hold themselves up and it is necessary to support them with armaments, people and food. I gave a commission to use helicopters for this purpose. However, the pilots refused to fly there as they do not have special devices to avoid stingers. Nearly a week passed. An Aghdam alignment was sttked nearby to watch the developments there. As soon as the military forces encircled Khojaly, it was necessary to evacuate the population. Earlier such a commission was given by me concerning Shushi: to leave men there and to take women and children off. These are also laws of the war: you must save their lives. My behavior was unbiased and fefinite: I gave such commissions but I have no idea why they were not fulfilled. By the way, I spoke to Mkrtchyan, the head of Military Forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, several times: "You laid several people on the ground. Give us an opportunity to take their bodies off here". But he replied that there must be no bodies, that our people are with them and that they are fed there, though they are short of provisions, and they are ready to exchange them with their hostages.

Question: When were you informed about those lost lives?

Answer: The next day after I was informed that there are just a few killed people in Khojaly. The information came from the minister of Home Affairs.

Question: Who was responsible for that information?

Answer: The minister himself. By that time a press-centre had been established in the Ministry of Defense. After the story about the helicopters we had an agreement that nobody would spread doubtful information.

Question: Do you consider the Prime Minister Hasan Hasanov responsible, too?

Answer: The head of the government, of course, is responsible for everything, though he refuses to have anything to do with such questions. Well, the government is government.


Nezavisimaya gazeta
№ 64 (235) 01st April 1992