Summary: Hearing 2
- Defendant Fikrat Ibishbayli’s (Faramazoglu’s) lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to conduct handwriting analysis to determine whether the signatures on the search record and on the minutes of the taking of the evidence belonged to Fikrat Faramazoglu. The motion was denied.
Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Eldar Mikayilov held a preliminary hearing on the criminal case of Fikrat Faramazoglu, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journalistic Research Centre (jam.az) news website. Fikrat Faramazoglu was arrested on 30 June 2016, and has been charged under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code. On 2 July 2016, Narimanov District Court ordered his pre-trial detention. » » » »
1. Alim Kazimli, a photo reporter with Yeni Musavat newspaper, was brutally beaten at Narimanov District Police Department on 28 December 2004 when applying for an identity card. Kazimli died of a brain haemorrhage attributable to this attack on 19 June 2005. Although Abil Mammadov, the head of the passport office, was reprimanded for his failure to provide the necessary conditions to receive citizens and for his discourteous behaviour towards Kazimli, there was no investigation of the case.
2. Elmar Huseynov, the editor-in-chief of Monitor magazine, was murdered in March 2005 in a well-organised attack that appeared to be a contract-style killing. After receiving a number of death threats, he was gunned down in the stairwell of his apartment building in Baku, where he died on the scene. More than 11 years later, the perpetrators of the murder have not been found yet.
3. Novruzali Mammadov, the chief editor of Talishi Sado newspaper and head of Talish Cultural Centre, died in August 2009 while serving a 10-year jail sentence for alleged treason. Mammadov’s serious health problems were widely known. However, the authorities failed to provide him with the necessary medical care and kept him in prison, despite numerous international calls for his release on humanitarian grounds; » » » »
1. Abdul Abilov, a blogger critical of government policies, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison on 27 May 2014. He was arrested on 22 November 2013 and charged with illegal possession, storage, and manufacturing or sale of drugs, which carries a prison sentence of up to 12 years. Abilov was the administrator of the Facebook page “Stop Sycophants,” known for its harsh criticism of the authorities. The page was closed down following his arrest.
2. Afgan Sadigov, the founder and editor-in-chief of AzelTV news website operating in the southern region, was sentenced to 3-month pre-trial detention in 22 November 2016, after being charged under Article 127.2.3 (deliberate infliction of a minor harm to health in a publicly dangerous way or from hooligan motives) of the Criminal Code. According to the journalist’s wife, Afgan Sadigov was arrested for reporting on injustices taking place in Jalilabad, embezzlement of social benefits intended for the needy by the rich, and arbitrariness in the regional hospital.
3. Araz Quliyev, the editor of the religion-oriented news website www.xeber44.com, was sentenced to eight years in prison on 5 April 2013. He was arrested on 8 September 2012 on a charge of hooliganism based on accusation that he was attempting to prevent an international folklore festival in Masalli region, and that he caused bodily harm to others, including police officers.
4. Arshad Ibrahimov, a journalist working for Azadliq newspaper, was arrested on 18 June 2014. Ibrahimov was sentenced to 11 years in prison on 13 August 2014 by Ganja Grave Crimes Court on charges of extortion. On 17 June 2016, the Supreme Court revised Ganja Appeal Court’s decision and reduced Arshad Ibrahimov’s original sentence to five years. » » » »
Key facts about the case:
Several former employees of the ICT Ministry have been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power in a multi-million corruption case. On 2 November, Judge Afgan Hajiyev ruled that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for 11 officials from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its affiliates who were arrested and detained in November 2015. The defendants are being charged under Articles 179.3.2 (misappropriation, in a large amount), 308.2 (abuse of official powers), and 313 (service forgery) of the Criminal Code.
Main defendants are Vidadi Zeynalov and Beytualla Huseynov.
• Vidadi Zeynalov a former Chief of Staff of the ICT Ministry.
• Beytulla Huseynov, a former Director General of Baku Telephone Communications Production Association (BTCPA). The BTCPA is a structure under ICT Ministry, also known as Baktelecom. Notably, Baktelecom is involved in another high profile corruption scandal – this time, at the international level. As such, Milano Public Prosecutor office has established that telecommunications company Baktelekom has tranfered funds to the accounts of the company LGV and Novae Terrae Foundation that belong to Italian politician, former Counci of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) member Luca Volonte. According to the indictment, then- the Vice-chairman of PACE and a member of the Italian Council Volonte, has received millions of US dollars to ensure the vote in favor of Azerbaijan, i.e. to support “political positions of a foreign state.” Volonte is scheduled to stand trail in Italy on charges of corruption and money laundering.
Other defendants are:
• Emin Mammadov,former Director of Communications Repair & Construction No.3 LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC,
• Anar Mustafayev, former Chief Account of Communications Repair & Construction No.3 LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC,
• Mahammad Mammadov, former Director General of Aztelekom LLC, a largest state telecommunications company
• Oktay Rustamov, former Chief Accountant of of Aztelekom LLC
• Jalil Jafarov former General Director of AzInTelekom LLC, a structure under ICT Ministry
• Gambar Baybalayev, former General Director of Azerpost LLC, a state-run postal service
• Namazali Mammadov, formal Director of Optical Communications, Construction and Installation LLC
• Sahrab Humbatov, formal Chief Accountant of Optical Communications, Construction and Installation LLC
• Bayram Valiyev, formal Director of Baku Communications Repair & Construction LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC.
The defendants are charged under Articles 179.3.2 (misappropriation, in a large amount), 308.2 (abuse of official powers), and 313 (service forgery) of the Criminal Code. The investigation has established that Vidadi Zeynalov and Beytulla Huseynov set up a criminal network which, through sham tenders and money-laundering misappropriated 163 million AZN (approximately 88 milion in euro) from the state budget.
According to the investigation, Beytullah Huseynov received 35-45 % of a total value from each contract he arranged through murky tenders.. Furthremore, the investigation has established that Huseynov issued forged documents, confirming that the tender works (i.e. installation of the fiber-optic lines) were carried out by subcontractors while in reality, these works had been done by local telephone networks. The investigators suspenct that former Chief of Staff of the ICT Ministry Vidadi Zeynalov has participated in a murky deal. » » » »
Summary: Hearing 4
- Youth activist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to remove the detention report from the list of evidence, as without a lawyer’s signature it was invalid;
- The public prosecutor asked the court to sentence Bayram Mammadov to a ten-and-a-half years in jail.
On 2 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Eynulla Valiyev, continued the hearing on the case of NIDA Civic Movement member Bayram Mammadov. Mammadov is facing drug charges.
Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov, members of opposition civic movement NIDA and final-year students of Azerbaijan Slavic University, were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. They were involved in writing graffiti on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expresasion.
The two youths went missing on the evening of 10 May 2016, and it was not until 12 May that the Ministry of Internal Affairs released information on the arrests. » » » »
Summary: Hearing 41
- All of the defendants refused the services of their lawyers.
On 2 December 2016 Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Alovsat Abbasov continued the hearing on the criminal case of Muslim Union Movement’s Chairman Taleh Bagirzade and other members of the Muslim Union Movement, charged under 21 articles of the Criminal Code including homicide, terrorism and incitement.
The APFP Deputy Chairman Fuad Gahramanli who is not a member of the Movement but yet accused of promoting their cause is charged under Articles 220.2 (making calls for active insubordination to lawful requirements of representatives of authority and for mass disorders, as well as violence against citizens), 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state, committed repeatedly or by a group of people) and 283.2.1 (instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility, by using or threatening to use violence) of the Criminal Code respectively.
On 26 November 2015 an armed incident occurred between a group of believers and policemen in Nardaran settlement of Baku, during an operation conducted by the police. According to official reports, the shootout resulted in the death of six, including two police officers. Taleh Bagirzade, the leader of the Muslim Union Movement, and several believers were detained as part of the operation. A criminal case has been launched in relation to the incident by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic.
Fuad Gahramanli, who was not present during the incident, was arrested on 8 December, 2015. His lawyer Yalchin Imanov said that Fuad Gahramanli was arrested due to his Facebook posts and his case was merged with the criminal case of the people arrested over the Nardaran incidents.
The presiding judge opened the hearing. However, he was forced to postpone it until 2 pm due to the absence of the defendants and all defence lawyers except Nemat Karimli. The judge said he would complain to the Bar Association about the lawyers who were not in attendance. » » » »
Summary: Hearing 2
- Witnesses Gasim Farzullayev and Balakhan Huseynov testified. They confirmed that the inspection of Tofig Hasanli’s shop and the additional examination of his clothes took place in the absence of a lawyer;
- The witnesses denied having seen the seizure of the drugs allegedly belonging to Tofig Hasanli.
Shirvan Appeal Court, chaired by Judge Alasgar Novruzov. held a preliminary hearing on the appeal of jailed satirical poet Tofig Hasanli.
Tofig Hasanli was arrested on 13 October 2015 and charged under Article 234.4.3 (illegal manufacturing, production, acquisition, storage, carrying, transfer and selling of drugs, in a large amount) of the Criminal Code. On 22 August 2016, Lankaran Grave Crimes Court sentenced him to 6 years in prison. The poet has occasionally read his critical poems on the Azerbaijani Hour TV programme. » » » »