The trial of Pyunkhan Kerimli, a member of the Party of People’s Front of Azerbaijan (PPFA), who was deported from Germany, on the charge of drug trafficking, ended on Wednesday in the Baku Court for Serious Crimes.
Before the verdict was announced, Kerimli rejected the charges as saying that he was being persecuted for political reasons.
Lawyer Javad Javadov also indicated the lack of evidence of Kerimli’s guilt in the alleged crime.
However, the court found Kerimli guilty and sentenced him to 6 years of imprisonment. Earlier, the prosecutor proposed to convict the activist to 7,5 years of imprisonment. The defense intends to appeal.
The activist’s father, Vahid Kerimov, also announced the falsification of criminal charges.
“My son was detained when he left the tax department. Could he have gone there with drugs in his pocket? This is a false accusation. Drugs were planted on him. My son is being persecuted for participating in actions to defend political prisoners in Azerbaijan and criticizing the authorities.
I would not regret if he was given 10 years of imprisonment for political activity, but I will not accept drug charges,” the father said.
* Kerimli was arrested in January this year, a month and a half after his readmission from Germany, where he was refused political asylum. Kerimli said that he was being persecuted for political reasons, for participating in protests in Germany against human rights violations in Azerbaijan.