The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan yesterday sentenced seven activists of the irredentist Lezgin organization Sadval to terms of imprisonment — ranging mostly from 13 to 15 years — on charges of treason, banditry, and assassination. One of the accused is the Russian citizen Asul Kasumov, the self-proclaimed spiritual leader of Lezgin militants in Dagestan, who was arrested with accomplices on Azerbaijani territory last year. According to the State Security Ministry’s investigation, the group had been trained in Dagestan and Armenia. (Turan, March 18)
Sadval ("Unity"), created in the early 1990s on the Russian side of the Russian-Azerbaijani border, aims to unite Lezgin-inhabited areas on both sides of the border into a new state, Lezgistan, at the expense of Azerbaijan. The organization appears recently to have lost much of its earlier following.
Major Kazakstani Bank Expands Into Oil.