Influential pages of the French press continue to criticize the use of Martin Ryan for espionage purposes and those who should be held responsible for it, APA reports.
Kernews.com press-radio network presented an interview of Armenian-born activist-journalist Leo Nikolia, who received extensive information from Martin Ryan’s parents.
In addition to the fact that the head of the French foreign intelligence agency was removed from his job in connection with the mentioned events, the resignation of the French foreign minister in the interview and the steps he took regarding Martin Ryan before his resignation, active espionage against Iran, America, and other countries by intelligence agents with diplomatic cover from Martin Ryan’s business network activities initial hints that it was used for its purposes and many previously unknown details were touched upon.
It should be noted that in recent years, no second spy has been the subject of so much discussion in the world press as Martin Ryan. It is believed that the gradually unfolding aspects of the case promise new surprises.
As the first source on the “Martin Affair” directly related to the resignation of the two ministers, here is the full-text translation of the Kernews.com article: https://www.kernews.com/leo-nicolian-martin-ryan-simple-homme-daffaires-na-aucune-immunite-diplomatique-cest-le-fusible-qui-a-saute/42776/
Leo Nikolian: “Martin Ryan, a simple businessman, does not have diplomatic immunity. It looks like a blown fuse.”
The incredible court case of a Frenchman detained for espionage in Azerbaijan.
This story deserves to be a spy movie script: it’s about the Martin Ryan affair. This French businessman was arrested in Azerbaijan on December 4 because he was accused of espionage by local authorities. The Paris Match weekly newspaper quotes Martin Ryan’s father as saying that this issue is related to the diplomatic tension between France and Azerbaijan. “When I talked to him, he told me that he was being used as a pawn,” Richard Ryan noted, adding that his son was “alluding to the two diplomats who were expelled and that he believed they would get away with it.” Indeed, on December 26, Azerbaijan announced the expulsion of two French diplomats due to activities “inconsistent with their status” against the background of tensions between the two countries regarding Paris’s support to Armenia.
Leo Nikolyan, an Armenian-born journalist and expert on war zones, investigated this case, especially contacting Martin Ryan’s lawyer and family. He told us the following truth:
Kernews: Recently, there has been a lot of talk about this French citizen, Martin Ryan, who was detained in Azerbaijan for espionage. You are in contact with his family and have been able to collect many items. First, can you tell us about the career path of this thirty-year-old?
Leo Nicolian: Martin is a Frenchman who wants to succeed in life. He saw the problems in France around taxes and different standards and wanted to go somewhere else. Sometimes the grass may be greener elsewhere… He hesitates to pick a few countries where things are going well economically, particularly Canada, the United States, and even Armenia, Dubai, or Qatar along with Russia. He is also interested in developing Azerbaijan. Baku is the pearl of the Caucasus, the capital of Azerbaijan, a Turkic-speaking nation. It is a very developed and enriched secular country. So Martin moved there five years ago. He thinks that it is possible to find work here because it is an extremely modern and rich country. In addition, Baku is also a city that provides complete security. There is no violence, drugs, and theft… So, after market research, he decided to settle in this country, taking into account the presence of a wealthy class in Azerbaijan, as well as the formation of a significant number of the middle class. Restaurants and cafes are mushrooming in this city more than in Paris. They have everything in terms of food, but he decides to bring them high-end products made in France, especially products for making sauces. He started his business called “Merkorama”. Life is Beautiful. He earns a living and is engaged to a beautiful woman. However, since there is a large Armenian community in France, it affects the foreign policy of France. The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has his position on Armenia, and Azerbaijan puts its chest forward due to this situation. Martin is a business executive, he doesn’t care, he works in the restaurant business.
So what happened last year?
French special services came to visit Martin Ryan. They were two diplomats of the French embassy. They have a diplomatic passport, you should know that all embassies have several employees, and some of them are spies under diplomatic cover. There’s the US Central Intelligence Agency, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB, France’s DGSE… These two people from DGSE go to see him, introduce themselves, and ask him to work for them and provide information. Martin refuses: “I’m not interested, I already have work. » In such a case, these people answer him: “You have no choice. An accident may happen soon, think of your father or mother. Some commit suicide…” Then they add: “We can destroy your business because we can block your goods from France at the customs and turn you into a migrant in Baku.” Martin refuses for the first time. But the pressure is constant, like a wolf biting the neck of its prey. In the end, Martin reluctantly surrenders.
Why would this restaurant business executive be useful to the French secret services?
Martin Ryan distributes food products, and bases for preparing sauces for all restaurants in Baku. All embassies are in the capital. Diplomats and the Iranian public come to the Iranian restaurant. Employees of the American embassy come to the American restaurant. Restaurant owners who are Martin’s customers become his informants. For example, so-and-so came, according to the waiter, it was said on the table, maybe there were microphones hidden under the table…
It’s in a legal document, a Defense Secret. Within a few months, someone probably spills the beans. Martin Ryan comes under the control of the special services of Azerbaijan, he is arrested, his mobile phone is confiscated, a search is conducted, and the agents find incontrovertible evidence. He has been in the pre-trial detention center since December 4. He is accused of passive espionage. These are not military secrets, but diplomatic and business secrets. Information is always crucial. This issue has been kept secret until now. No one has been briefed and I will not reveal my sources. I first contacted Martin’s mother, Rose, who asked that I not disclose the case due to ongoing confidential negotiations.
These secret negotiations do not end with the arrest of the two French secret agents – because they are diplomats with immunity and cannot be arrested – but with their expulsion from Azerbaijan. France responded by expelling two Azerbaijani diplomats. This was a solid response. In all this, Martin Ryan, a simple businessman, has no diplomatic immunity. It was the fuse that blew, France became a victim of foreign policy.
So he’s a businessman who was threatened for doing this and now he’s paying the price…
He is a protector. He is in prison. He is being held on espionage charges and could face 10 to 20 years in prison. I just hope he gets bail and they can confiscate his passport and put him on an electronic bracelet. But this is the work of the judicial system of Azerbaijan, and since it is a sovereign country, it does not concern us. What shocks me about this story is the unwillingness to talk about it. Today, the Azerbaijani media revealed this case, and Agence France-Presse confirmed this case after an investigation, I gave them the contact information of Martin’s parents, and it became a state case. What makes me angry is that our government does nothing. I hope that our new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal will act in this direction. Before leaving, Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna simply asked Azerbaijan to release this French citizen, even though it was she who trapped this man through her ministry and embassy! The French state is responsible for this situation. We threatened the French citizen and put pressure on his family. He was about to get married and found himself here. I am in touch with his friends and lawyer. This is a very urgent issue. All the media are starting to talk about it and I hope we will be more interested in it. Leyla Abdullayeva, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to France, stated to AFP and expressed her reaction. This is a delicate matter indeed. He was forced to do something, and an actual gun was put to his head. He did not do it on his conviction.
This is a shocking incident. If you’re a French business executive in a foreign country and you’re going about your business without anyone bothering you, what would you do if the French special services came to threaten you?
I would go to the special services of Azerbaijan and say: “There are those who worry me, those who ask about this…” They are already threatening me. I have ongoing legal proceedings, particularly with Anne Hidalgo. Now, after 52 arrests, several attempted murders, and at least one shot, anything that doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Humans also have their sensibilities. I have nothing to lose, I’m at the end of my life, so I have nothing to lose. No one is forever. Ryan is young, with his whole life ahead of him, a family to start, and when he’s told that all his possessions will be frozen in France and he’ll be reduced to a beggar, the world runs out from under him. Was he right to surrender? There is no longer any question about his situation. Believe me, the Azerbaijan secret service prison is not a VIP health center. We will see the outcome of this matter. We need popular mobilization. The only hope would be that the President of Azerbaijan decides to pardon him.