Employees of an Israeli drone manufacturer, Aeronautics are facing charges for allegedly demonstrating its weapons targeting skills on Armenian soldiers at the request of potential Azerbaijan customers, various Israeli media outlets said.
"Aeronautics and 10 of its employees were informed that they were set to be charged, pending a hearing," the justice ministry said in a statement released to the Israeli media. Aeronautics chief executive Amos Mathan and other senior employees were suspected of "fraudulently obtaining something under aggravated circumstances" as well as violations of Israel's security export control law, the ministry said.
"The employees were investigated about a deal the company made with a substantive overseas client," the statement read without providing further details, noting a gag order over the affair.
According to media reports, in 2017 representatives of Aeronautics were working on a deal in Azerbaijan, where they were asked by their hosts to demonstrate their Orbiter 1K attack drone’s weapons on Armenian soldiers.
Two Aeronautics employees refused the request before a more senior official in the firm acquiesced, lightly wounding two Armenian soldiers, the media reports said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are in dispute over the Nagorny Karabakh region, with frequent exchanges of fire along their volatile front line. Karabakh has been under Armenian control since it was seized in the early 1990s after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan has repeatedly threatened to take it back by force.
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Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami on Monday inaugurated the mass production line of the countrys new tactical unmanned aerial vehicle armed with a precision-guided bomb, local media reports. Irans Mohajer 6 drone equipped with Qaem precision-guided bomb has the capability to carry out surveillance, reconnaissance and combat missions within a wide operational radius and can help the Armed Forces identify and destroy pre-determined targets, Defense Minister Hatami was quoted as saying by Press TV during the launch ceremony
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The Israeli government has revoked the export licence suspension of Aeronautics allowing it to sell the K1 Orbiter Drone to Azerbaijan. The suspension had been imposed after Aeronautics attempted to bomb an Armenian military site on behalf of Azerbaijan during a demonstration of its suicide drones in August 2017, according to a complaint filed with the Israeli Defense Ministry and reported in the local media
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