The interview in full in the Azerbaijani language is here..
And we will bring only an extract concerning the events we are interested in where he unambiguously announces that the Azerbaijani authorities were informed about the due assault and consciously refused to evacuate the population.
Ramiz-mualim, everybody knows these shots very well. And if at that time nobody doubted your and other photographs’ heroism, after those events, various opinions were voiced about you as a director of the commission on investigation of Khojaly events. They began to speak not about heroism but in some cases even about treachery.
Those were times when everybody was fighting for the power. Everybody knew among whom the struggle was taking place. Some strived for the change of power, others wanted to gain power. Some wanted the commission to take the accusation off the committers of the Khojali tragedy, others were eager to throw mud at them in order those first could gain power.
If you remember, on the 14th of May, 1992, I said in the Milli Majlis that “we haven’t sum up yet, that’s why we cannot say anything. But now, too, it could be said that the Khojali events took place because of indifference, the improper placing of the personnel and because of political short-sightedness. It could be said that for some political reasons and for the maintenance of the power, they didn’t give Khojaly up” Everybody heard that Mutalibov was innocent. Everybody heard, but in fact it was not true.
4 Day remained before the events in Khojaly. On the 22nd of February, in the president’s, prime-minister’s, KGB minister’s and others’ presence, the meeting of the National Security Council was held. Nobody knows so far where the mistake was made, and who made it. At the meeting a resolution was made not to evacuate the people from KHOJALY. It was considered that if we evacuate the population, we will invite Armenians to occupy the settlement. That is, we ourselves incited Armenians to attack. Even the members of the Security Council didn’t believe that Armenians could have committed actions of the kind, similar to genocide. They thought that if the population left the settlement we ourselves would give Khojaly up.
This political short-sightedness and ignorance of the situation brought to the words I pronounced from the tribune. There exists a shorthand record, and it can be verified. The people heard what they wanted to hear.
When I say people, I mean the Majlis. Because everybody was present there. Some people were prepared for it, the others were not. My voice was deafened by them. So, if everything repeats itself today, I will struggle for it again. And I hope this time there will be some people who will be willing to hear me.